Episode 9 - "Azumi Autumn Ride! Front Part"
If it's cute girls doing cute things and getting hungry along the way, you know it's going to turn into a foodie episode. Add in the little specialties at each rest stop and this Autumn ride was more like a restaurant tour with a bit of effort between each entrée.
The bit of drama at the start where Ami was separated from her group is a bit too much. The staggered starts do have numbers decided beforehand, but it's not so important that one or two riders can't be let in.
I'm like Saki: if I see a fast group passing me by, I get twitchy and see if I can sprint to catch their back wheel. I know how dogs feel when they need to chase a car...
Ami, as the newbie, was always going to get the lion's share of the problems in her first century. One of the girls should have stayed behind so everyone always has at least one buddy.
As soon as Ami heard those magical words, she was all in on Team Saki. Those magical words being, "all you can eat."
That's proper motivation for a steep hill: if you don't make it to the top, I'm going to eat all the good food that's up there!
Cute girls tease each other cutely about their cute friendships...
These girls really know how to make cycling look fun... in pictures anyway. It's also why, including all the times they stopped to eat, that they approached the cut-off pace and had to meet Mr. Broomwagon. All that good food is going to start sitting a little heavy if they have to pedal harder.
This week we saw some more pace lines in action, SAG stop menus, some hard climbing and looks at Ami's Focus and Aoi's Felt.
These pacelines at centuries can get crazy fast! The fastest I ever went in a paceline was at the Palm Springs Century in a line being led out by a tandem bike. 38 mph on the flats. On a slight descent, I caught another group doing Indian Pacelining, where the guy at the back of the line sprints to take his turn at the front, which keeps whipping up the speed by that short sprint up the side. I took my turn and immediately blew up and said goodbye to that tiger's tail.
It's also no fun to keep going up a really steep climb, round a curve and see that you're nowhere close to the top. There's a climb near my house that I've never successfully ridden to the top of without putting my foot down. That's either to walk up the 30% plus grade or blow up and get my heart rate down. One of these days...
The food selection at SAG stops (Support And Gear) is usually not that inspiring, but at least one stop has something interesting going on. There's barbecue burgers at the 3rd stop in Solvang. At Cool Breeze near Santa Barbara, there's always those big orange popsicles at the last stop. It's not dumplings and soup and pickles, but it's tradition.