This morning I woke up before dawn (4:00a!) to join Becky and several hundred other cyclists for the Hospitality Highway ride. We rode the 25-mile loop and had a GREAT time. It was hilly, but it turned out to be OK. A number of people walked their bikes up the various hills, but I proudly made it to the top of each one.
As it was a recovery ride, I took it easy and had a really good time riding with Becky around Roswell. The ride gets its name because the first three miles are on GA 400, which gets shut down for half an hour (6:30a-7:00a) on the day of the ride. It was such a neat experience being on the freeway without cars and just having a good time being on the bike at sunrise.
It was also a good experience because now I know what mass starts are like on bicycles. To be brief: they suck. It was really cool to see people of all ages and abilities out on the 4 routes (8, 25, 62, 100 miles), but getting behind a lot of people who are on the shorter loops and, apparently, aren't used to hilly or longer road rides is frustrating. It was also maddening to be behind people who, if they couldn't make it up a hill, would just stop in the middle of the lane and get off their bikes without looking to see if there was anyone behind them (as it was at the beginning of the ride, there were LOTS of people behind them). So, despite the poor etiquette (I blame it on the assumption that these people just haven't ridden on the road or in groups often -- simple ignorance and not disregard for other riders).
The rest stop was at the top of a long, slow climb at about 10 miles in. It was weird to have a rest stop so early, but nice to have a break at the top of the hill. We climbed that hill twice on the route, today: the second time was at the end of the ride. Literally: climb hill, turn left, stop. Strange route, but very satisfying.
Maximum speed: 29.7 mph
Average speed: 13.0 mph
Distance: 24.30 mi
Also, I was all over my gears today because of the various climbs and descents, and I didn't have any problems shifting. I hope that means that I'm in the clear.