Sunday morning we all reluctantly got our gear together, loaded the vehicles, and coasted down to breakfast. It was chilly, which was a welcome change from the day before, and it appeared that it had rained a little over night. The sky was overcast but calm. It was turning out to be a perfect day for riding.
We ate breakfast and talked until it was time to head down to the start line. At the start line, I got distracted talking to a friend while the rest of my team headed up to the front of the line. I realized they were gone right before they let us go. I cut ahead trying to catch up with Sarah and the rest of the mass but there were too many riders. Occasionally I caught a good break in the clump and sprinted on ahead only to have the mass of riders latch on to me and cut me off once I slowed down a little. This happened multiple times and was really ticking me off. I didn't really want to be in that lead pack but I did want to catch Sarah. Finally I got another break. I saw Sarah up ahead, took off and got within fifteen feet with one rider between us. Again, I was cut off my the mob. This time they also cut off the rider that was in between Sarah and I, Janet. Janet is also on my team and we ride together occasionally.
I finally gave up on trying to catch Sarah and decided to ride with Janet. Jay, our team captain, soon caught up to us and jumped into our line. We now had a good thing going. Since we've all ridden together before, the line worked pretty smoothly. We took turns pulling and then dropped back for a rest. Going downhill like we were, you could drop back after you'll pull, tuck in tight behind the person in front of you and coast without pedaling to get your rest.
The three of us stayed together for the rest of the ride, picking up and losing other riders as we went. It was hard to have other riders with us. They didn't work well with our line and caused occasional problems. One person didn't warn us of an obstacle ahead so we all had to swerve to get out of the way. I was in the back of the group, or so I thought, so I braked instead causing the group that silently snuck up behind us to scatter. We ditched groups like that when we could. We made good time and were back in Billings in just over 2 hours averaging 23.5 mph over 54 miles.
Sarah, on the other hand, booked it the entire way back to Billings with the lead group. She said they were flying and I believe it. They averaged around 27 mph and made it back in under 2 hours. That's crazy! She said it was kind of stressful with a group that large so I'm kind of glad I took it slower and got to enjoy the ride a little more. Sarah's competitive and enjoys being first and being fast. I like the experience so I think it worked out great for both of us.