The Gentlemen’s Ride and Weekend Preview

On a recurring, inconsistent basis, usually with ridiculously short notice, kolo t.c. will be hosting Gentlemen’s Rides around the Traverse City area. Gentlemen’s Rides have a few simple rules. The average speed will be around 18-20mph, with no attacking, sprints or other shenanigans. Riders who break those rules will be beaten senseless.

This morning, we rolled north in a happy trio towards Otto Road in The County. With a tough west wind on the shoulder and a warming sun in the east, it was a thoroughly pleasant trip ahead of the high-speed torture of tomorrow’s Saturday Shootout. Mark and Tim kept the pace perfect, gentlemanly, even, while we crest the top of South Center Highway and the rolling hills of Otto.

Far from our minds was the furor of Frankenmuth. The TdF takes place tomorrow, a favorite for many of Michigan’s best road racers. The pancake route makes for Formula One quality speeds and is a true sprinter’s delight. If next week’s West Branch Classic Road Race is a dry run for the hills of the Cherry-Roubaix, Frankenmuth is perfect for practicing the leadout train for Mt. Pleasant.

Saturday offers up the leg-killer race of the Hanson Hills One Hundred. The ultra-endurance race is one of the pioneer endurance events in the race and serves as a local preview for the Lumberjack 100 later in June. 100 miles at Hanson Hills enough to test even world class athletes, and watching local riders crack and explode is both heartbreaking and curious. If you’ve never seen a grown man on a $5,000 bike cry, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so.

Off in Italy, the Giro d’Italia is wrapping up, but the fireworks are still to come. After today’s mountainous journey, Saturday’s trip is simply murder. It’s going to be the final chance for the favorites to gain time in the mountains before a very flat time trial conclusion on Sunday. The stage is ideal for Ivan Basso to grind away and destroy the hopes of Michele Scarponi, Joaquim Rodriguez and Ryder Hesjedal. Hesjedal needs to survive and go for more time in the TT, where he holds a good advantage over the other GC men.

Enjoy a wonderful, safe and bike-heavy Memorial Day weekend, ‘Murica.

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