Leader: Joan Oppel
Members: Ron Altemus, Don Gardner
Route: "Across the Wind" - designed to lessen a typical NW wind impact by utilizing tree-lined roads, sunken roads, wind-favorable directions. So, Old Indian Head, Cherry Tree to Crossroad Trail. Then over to Croom via Candy Hill and Baden Naylor to the Tanyard/Nottingham loop/Merkle. St Thomas Church to Duley Station, Van Brady to Molly Berry.
Average speed: Group more or less stayed together
Mechanicals/Mishaps: At Merkle, Ron parked his bike in the bike rack. Don and I tested our bikes there, didn't feel stable so we parked our elsewhere. Getting back on our bikes, Ron discovered his bike had fallen/blown over and riding it caused significant rubbing of wheel rim on brake. A definite wobble developed in the wheel and we could not open the brakes enough to solve the wobble. It appears that when the bike fell over, the rim might have been damaged as it torqued in the rack pipes. Ron took a shortcut after trying to ride for about 2 miles. He encouraged Don and me to finish the ride route.
Report: VERY windy in the North Keys parking lot - of course. But as soon as we left, we experienced only occasional wind issues. The route, designed by Steve P, is really outstanding for a winter northwest/west wind situation. The difficult windy sections were few and not long. Don reported that he enjoyed the ride. At one point, along Nottingham, I waited for Ron and Don to catch up and remarked that they were riding and chatting as if it were 65 degrees. Ron said, "I'm just enjoying the wind on my face."
Weather: Temperature was about 32 at the start, then hovering around 34 or so. Very sunny and that made a big difference in how cold it felt. Wind was about 17-20 mph, when we could feel it.