Yesterday, Michael and I rode the tandem on Lorain County Wheelmen’s premier end-of-season ride, the Red Flannel Metric Century. The morning was a bit nippy, but not too bad, and by mid-day, I felt quite comfortable in my three layers of clothes which was topped off with a flannel–not red. I unfortunately do not own any red flannels.
Despite the fact that the trees have lost the majority of their leaves, it was quite a beautiful ride through the towns of Lorain and Huron Counties. Mostly flat with a few challenging hills, this route swept through the best parts of this area of Ohio. I think as a stoker on a tandem I have the advantage of being able to look around more and this ride sure had a lot for me to view as I pumped those pedals, relying on my captain’s attention to the road.
The rest stops on this ride were at the best locations–all parks in the small towns we cycled through. The first rest stop was in park was at the bottom of a river valley between two big hills so we had to climb out immediately after the stop. The second was at a park beside a cemetary outside of Milan (a very cool little town I’d never visited before) and the last was in a park in Wakeman.
There were quite a few tandems on this ride, many of which were Santanas, which is what Michael’s tandem is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Santanas at once. Usually, I encounter a lot of Co-Motions or Cannondales. This ride was definitely more on the side of Santana! As far as the “half-bikes” went, Giant and Bianchi seemed to be the most popular. I did see a lot of Orebeas, too, which are less common (cuz I think they are more expensive).
The highlight of the day was when Michael and I passed another tandem while climbing the last steep part of a hill. We, like pros, stood on our pedals and sprinted in unison, while the couple on the neighboring tandem remained sitting. We were so proud when we sprinted right past them! I really felt like an accomplished tandem rider at that moment. We’re a great team!
Did I mention that I was still battling a cold and that I’d spent the majority of the night before coughing? Well, I’ll tell you that DayQuil is a miracle drug. I was worried about trying to climb hills, as a few days before I’d gone into convulsions when climbing the little molehills on Graham Road while on a short ride on my hybrid from my house to the coffee shop. However, I seemed to be on the healing end of my cold and I did fine on the ride. The only thing I had to contend with was a slight over-runniness of the nose, for which I kept a wad of kleenex in my flannel pocket. I think the ride did me some good and cleared my lungs out. I’m almost through with the cold today and coughing much less. Exercise is good for you!
It was a nice 64 miles of riding and I really enjoyed myself. This is probably the last long ride I will do this year… it was the whipped cream on the pumpkin ice cream sundae of my cycling season, that’s for sure.
Mars Girl at graveyard rest stop in Milan.
ABC friends John, Tom, TDB, and Speedy Mike
at last rest stop in Wakeman, Ohio.
Mars Girl at last rest stop in Wakeman.