Rose and I arrived at the Arlington Bicycles Inc about 12:15. My new tandem carrier setup worked perfectly; I think this setup would be fine on the highway if I want to make a longer haul with the tandem. The ride start time was 1:00 pm, so we took time to explore the new Bicycles Inc store. It is really big and well stocked. The ride signup sheets were inside the store, and there was also all kinds of fruit to snack on.
We enjoyed the route. The main change on the short route is the return, which comes back on Turner-Warnell then Calender, rather than a long haul down Sublett, which gets pretty busy in the afternoon. It still makes a longer run down Rendon Road than I like, but the traffic this time of afternoon was much less than the after church traffic we caught last time, and the short route doesn’t stay on Rendon Road nearly as far as we did on the LSR ride.
I never got an official count, but it looked to be 50 riders or so, in all. There were a half dozen or so tandems, and there looked to be plenty of newer riders. We started out at the back of the pack, not having done any of these group rides on our tandem, and not sure how well we would keep up. But, we soon found the speed at the back too slow, and started passing folks. We soon ended up with a group which included some slower riders from the 60 mile route, and the fastest of the 37 mile riders.
We rode out against a howling south wind. The clouds kept the temperature mild, though. This is great weather for November! The break at the Rendon Store at mile 20 was very welcome. The more upright seating of this tandem isn’t as comfortable as my other bikes, and 25 miles or so is all I usually do on it.
With the big tailwind behind us on the return, we kept up with the fastest riders on the short route, except for the usual getting dropped on hills. We ended up with 37.2 miles, with an on the bike average of 15.5 mph. I guess having a pace set for us by riding with this group speeded us up some; we don’t usually manage that fast an average on the tandem.
There was pumpkin pie waiting at Bicycles Inc after the ride, but we settled for more fruit, and headed home for dinner. We both enjoyed the ride; I’ll think we’ll do this one some more during the winter. A 1:00 pm starting time like it has will be good when the temperatures get cooler.