In slotting the Fire Road Climb at the head of Round Duh, we were expecting it to serve as a prologue of sorts. A short, sharp effort that would give us a pecking order, an early hierarchy, but no massive time gaps.
That was not the case. Even at the beginning of the weeks, riders smashing into the slopes of the State Hospital’s longest climb immediately saw best times bested just a day, or even hours, later on. Chad and Charlie Black set the early benchmark, with Jeff Owens putting in an early effort as well to lay down the gauntlet. After two days of near constant rain, the flood of fast times broke the dam on Friday, with Owens giving it another go.
Owens’ incredible 3:47 would be matched by Sunset just a few hours later to share the top slot for week one. They weren’t alone in eye-watering times, either. Ryan Kennedy, John O’Hearn, Sam Holmes, plus a late run from Max Meyer made the top five or six riders members of what we’d call rarified air.
On the women’s side, Laura Webb looks to have her hands full in defending her Round One win with pal Susan Vigland. Susan takes yet another stage this spring by just four seconds. The duo are now just under a minute clear of Erica O’Hearn in third, but there’s reason to worry. Erica found herself in the same boat last time around; a big gap early, but clawing back seconds here and there the rest of the way.
And it will be a trip to her home turf, the Vasa Power Section, that riders enjoy starting on Monday. It’s the toughest 2.91 miles you’ll tackle, and with plenty of rouleurs looking to scoop back some time on flatter terrain, it’s going to be a decisive ten-ish minute effort.
With the Downtown TC Buy Local Give Local Fund closed up, consider donating or registering to ride June 6-7 for the Alone But Together Bike Ride. Less Cancer’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Less Cancer Bike Ride, has had to go to a virtual format, but that actually makes it even more accessible for even more people. Ride one mile or ride one hundred, ride both days or just one. By signing up, you’ll be joining cyclists from across the country in supporting the mission of cancer prevention in the United States and in forty countries around the world.
Remember, you’ve got until Saturday at 5pm to get your time in for the second stage! With great weather and changes to some businesses, it’s going to be easy to follow the crowd and start forming group rides. Folks, we are not there yet. May 1 was the deadliest day of the pandemic in the United States, a very tragic contrast to the rash of openings and protests. Ride solo. Stay home. Wash your hands. And when you’re out riding, keep in mind that we are an incredibly visible community both on the roads and in the woods. Your group of five or six does not go unnoticed. We need to set the example, follow the rules of health experts, and get through this thing together…but separately.
Full results and standings from Round Duh right here.