Our local mountain bike/cyclocross group called Bike Sabbath held a Devil's Night ride Saturday night. The plan was to cycle the Greenaway path 25 km to a bar in the county, have a couple of drinks, then ride back. "Explosives" and libations were promised. A group of about 40 riders (last year there were 10) started out at 4:30 and headed down the path straight into the winds. The trail is packed gravel so I pulled out the old mountain bike. My mountain bike is a 16 year old Kona Hahanna that I used to do a lot of off trail riding on. I haven't though, spent alot of time on it in the last 10 years or so.
What a fun ride that ended up being! The group stopped every 5km or so to have a drink from the beer keg that was on the ride (some of these guys are resourceful with their bikes!) and those stops really helped me to recover. It was windy and my legs and lungs were burning from the effort. What a difference from the road bike! I was missing being clipped in as well (who would have ever thought) as every once in a while I could feel my foot come off the pedal on the upstroke and all I could thing of was "What a waste of energy!".
It took a little over an hour with all the drink detours to get to the bar where we stopped in for even more drinks! I should have ordered some food but did manage to scoop a couple of french fries from David's plate. It was after dark when we started back and I didn't have a light on my bike. Paul and I stuck with Pete and Dave, who had lights and were fine. The ride back, in the dark with the lights, and the fall leaves, was amazing. I was having so much fun! Instead of drinks on the way back (most on the ride had already had too much) the stops involved fireworks.
A tailwind helped me with the effort but I was really starting to get chilled by the time we got back. A group of us headed out to a local restaurant and indulged in some fabulous stone oven pizzas, red wine, and dessert. So good and just what I needed! The evening ended late and I drank more than I should have. This came back to bite me in the ass on Sunday during our ride but at the time I was having too much fun to worry about the next day!