In our last e-mail post, we offered a prediction of the 2011 NOB Ride. We are pleased to report that the actual experience was even better than the prediction! A group of focused and excited riders left the shop on time, Saturday, October 15 at 7 AM. Some riders were in short sleeves, some with light jackets. The 50 degree temperature provided those of us in short sleeves a motivation to work a bit harder to get warmed up, starting out at a fast pace to compensate for the inevitable slowing that would come later . . . when the hills appeared.
Super SAG person Lane (and SAG dog Sophie) collected the riders’ change of clothes at the shop, picked up lunch sandwiches and cookies at Subway, and managed to get ahead of us about 25 miles into the ride, for our first supported stop. As the group spread out less than a couple of miles during the entire ride, Lane was able to serve us all with hydration fluids, snacks, and great motivation along the way. The Natchez Trace was beautiful this time of year, with leaves just beginning to loose their summer green. Lunch at Rocky Springs was perfect, and everyone enjoyed visiting with the touring cyclists from Colorado that we had passed a few miles up the Trace. They had a big bus, but we had the awesome white Outback (WhiteOut) and Barbara’s truck! Thanks Lane, Sophie and Barbara!
With temperatures climbing to the low 80s, the wine, cheese and sausage reception was a great treat at the park after negotiating the 3000 feet of climbing, mostly in the last third of the sunny, 104 mile ride. As everyone arrived within minutes of each other, and almost an hour ahead of schedule, we relaxed a bit, showered, and took our time before heading to the restaurant. There were thousands of folks on the streets of Natchez gathered for the hot air balloon race, but we pulled in the Magnolia Grille parking lot and parked at the front door!
Our table by the window offered a great view of the river and the ballgames on the big screen. The bloodymarys and other drinks competed with the river, TV, and landing balloons for our attention. Many balloons were flying directly overhead and were landing within a few hundred feet of our table! The fellowship and food were great, and everyone agreed it was a fantastic day! The ride home was pleasant, with many deer sighted, and we arrived at the shop ahead of schedule.
The Natchez or Bust Ride is dependent on a schedule for many reasons. We appreciate the efforts of all riders and support vehicles in helping us to keep this ride an institution, and look forward to next year for another great NOB Ride! We hope you will consider joining us then! We plan to upload some pics of the event on our gallery.
Ride South . . . The Way to Ride!