I'm convinced something about the way the river sets up in its general west - east meander makes a dead east wind feel worse than a stronger NE or SE wind, even though we are very rarely traveling due east on the inward leg of the Tues/Thurs levee ride.
This morning's ride was as expected in such a wind: fast going out, fitful coming in. We had 11 participants after passing the playground until Movie Star Dave did his little wait-'til-you-see-the-whites-of-their-eyes pirouette in the middle of the path just this side of Kenner. We also picked up Pat still further west. Some chucklehead, who the taxpayers of Jefferson Parish thought it wise to entrust with a huge piece of motor driven equipment with scads of rotating steel cutting blades, decided it was a good idea to try to meet a group of speeding cyclist at the pinnacle of the little bridge in Kenner, forcing us to near unclip speed.
A group that included Brian, Woody, and two of the young orange-clad riders, got away with an acceleration coming out of the Big Dip and stayed away to the turnaround. We started back toward town immediately and after just a couple of miles, the surges started. It wasn't long before Brian just rode off of the front. There he stayed into a stiff headwind for a scary long time. The group remained together until near Williams Blvd. and then it was let the stop/start, block/surge, gap/attack games begin. All the while, Brian is still off the front.
The group split into several pieces, with Big Rich, Pat and me working together until Pat turned. Rich and I then picked up Lenny and eventually Randy, and the four of us rode in together.
It was impressive to see Brian's strength, which allowed him to ride away from the group without the need to rely on a lot of maneuvering often employed by others.
Ray was back from a stint out West doing altitude training, and if he hadn't gotten off at Williams, I am certain, with his new kit, he would have been in the front group as a Contender.
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