|Great summer morning riding|
|Rando-panda cockpit shot|
|One of several vineyards and cider mills on Covey Hill Rd|
|Covey Hill in the distance|
|Gunnar on top of Covey Hill|
|View down Covey Hill's western flank|
|Their pastries looked awesome|
The next part of the ride would lead us back east, and the roads we were riding were awesome. The espresso (my first caffeine of the day) worked wonders and at some point I decided to ride ahead at my own speed. After a while, another rider from my previous group caught up with me and we rode together until the next rest stop. For most of the time we shared the work and were going at a very good clip. Only for the last 20 km before the controle, my partner was starting to bonk a bit and I pulled for the rest of the way. This didn't slow us down too much but it definitely drained my energy reserves; and we were both very happy once we got to the gas station controle. I had just started drinking my bottle of Pepsi when the 5 riders of the bigger group and after another couple of minutes our two riding buddies arrived, too.
|On one stretch of road there were dozens of telephone poles with stuffed animals nailed to them. Very weird.|
With only 40 km to go I didn't feel like hanging around for too long and thus headed out by myself ahead of the others. As I was now riding mostly into the wind I kind of expected to be caught by the others but that didn't happen. My speed was still decent and at 3:47 pm I reached the final controle. I would have gotten there at least ten minutes earlier but my bike computer and the cue sheet didn't quite match and I therefore rode past the controle and had to turn around.
|On the way back from the ride finish. Masses of people at the Grand Prix|
To conclude: this was a great ride, both in terms of performance and of experience. I was fast (moving average of 27.8 km/h), the route great, the weather awesome, and never during the ride did I feel particularly crappy. Next stop: 300km.