I finally did it. There's been so much talk about the Lystra hill since I moved here that I finally had to do the ride to see what all the fuss was about. Before I get to Lystra though let's back up a bit.
I want to thank V. for holding down the fort so that I could ride on Saturday. Since the Saturday Thorns and Roses rides are usually longer I don't go so that I can help around the house with projects, kids etc. With the long weekend going on, Saturday was not as a big deal and the weather was absolutely perfect.
At 7:15 I rode to Caribou's and had plenty of time to chat with the group since our leader GOG, was a little slow on getting ready. The group was HUGE this week. Almost rivaling the Cycling Spoken Here Sunday ride. There was no way he was going to get everyone's name down, although I think he tried. One rider of note was visiting family from my old stomping ground, Winston Salem. He's on the Wake Forest race team so we were looking forward to some good sprints.
We all headed out by about 7:40 and stayed together until Carpenter Upchurch. The high speeds kicked it and since I tried to stay up front I didn't notice that the group had completely splintered. By the time we got to Morrisville Carpenter only half the group was left, with the others no where to be seen. Unfortunately, Wake Forest opted to stay back with his family, so the anticipated sprints weren't going to happen. Sporadic Steve decided to stay back and try to get the second group to catch up while Captain Carbon lead the rest of us out to Lystra at a slower pace. Eventually we realized that the second group wasn't coming so we picked up the pace and opted to wait at the designated rest stop.
After 10 or 15 minutes at the store, GOG and the group pulled in and we decide to spit in two again with one group doing the Col de Lystra and the other opting for a less hilly return.
So we started the climb.
It really wasn't as hard as everyone was trying to make it out to be, but was definitely steep, forcing everyone to stand on the pedals to get to the top. I made it to the top in the middle of the pack, too far back to see who got the mountain points for the morning.
Now it got interesting. As soon we reached the light at the top of Lystra it changed leaving half of us stuck. A few risked running the light but this was a highway, so me and 3 others waited a bit. After we finally crossed we could still see the pack ahead so I wasn't too worried. Then I realized that we weren't going fast enough to catch up and about the time I was going to say something the guy up front took a right that I wasn't expecting. The second guy in line said, "aren't we supposed to go back to the store?" The guy out front had no clue what we were talking about ... he wasn't part of our ride!
Joe (new Motobecane) and I had mistakenly teamed up with a different set of riders and were now on our own. Initially we tried to go all out to get back to the store and catch up but apparently Capt'n Carbon hadn't noticed that he left two of the troops on the wrong side of the HWY and had pushed the group onward. Joe and I decided to take a slightly shorter route home but still ended up with about 45 miles on the day.
Instead of going back to Caribou's, I headed home and got started on a great 3-day weekend with the family. Hopefully Joe was able to give Cope some grief for leaving us hanging. :)