I was already looking forward to the weekend when I got the email. The 2013 team kits had arrived and Mignon was taking the first stab at distribution that evening at Starbucks. Not wanting to be caught wearing the “old” kit over the weekend, I headed over there at 7 pm to pick up my two jerseys, shorts and pair of gloves. I was a little surprised that they had actually arrived on time as promised. Over the years I’m become accustomed to taking jersey manufacturers’ promised delivery times wI was already looking forward to the weekend when I got the email. The 2013 team kits had arrived and Mignon was taking the first stab at distribution that evening at Starbucks. Not wanting to be caught wearing the “old” kit over the weekend, I headed over there at 7 pm to pick up my two jerseys, shorts and pair of gloves. I was a little surprised that they had actually arrived on time as promised. Over the years I’m become accustomed to taking jersey manufacturers’ promised delivery times with more than a grain of salt. We switched over from Giordana to Voler this year, primarily because of the convenience factor. Voler set up a team store, everyone went there and ordered and paid for their kits, and then the whole batch was shipped together. That relieved the club from the whole ordering process, and also eliminated the large cash outlay that we would typically have to make to get the order started. Progress….. So Saturday morning I pulled on the new stuff and headed back to the same Starbucks to meet the Giro Ride group. I had managed a pretty decent week of training, and had already decided to cap it off with a hard weekend. In that regard, the Giro did not fail to deliver. The serious part of the Giro, around 40 miles, was ticked off at an average rate of 24.6 mph with the Goodyear sprint topping out just shy of 35 mph. I was feeling pretty good, which I found rather surprising considering how much riding I’d done during the week, and so I spent a fair amount of time up in the rotation at the front. With the plan for Sunday involving a northshore ride, I rode back home wondering if I’d be paying for Saturday’s efforts. Back at home I spent some time up in the attic breathing fiberglass and dust while I decided how to support the pot rack that I later installed above the stove. Along the way I found an old box of NOBC paperwork and pulled out one of the original Tour de Louisiana flyers from 1972, and what passed in 1975 for the Tour’s Race Bible. I just had to scan those and upload them to the NOBC website for posterity. I sure miss those $3.25 entry fees. Sunday morning it was cooler and very windy and I drove over to Puccino’s to meet Mark McMurry. We were about a mile from the school where the ride starts when we suddenly ran into fog. Fog? I hadn’t been expecting that. The dampness made it feel much cooler than I’d expected. I put a T-shirt underneath my new jersey and pulled on the arm-warmers, and a few minutes later eleven of us rolled north for the standard 65 mile northshore ride. With Mark, Ed, Daniel, Stephen, Jorge, Diego and others in attendance, and the fact that it was near the end of March, I knew this would not be a sightseeing ride. It wasn’t. A few people turned around just past Enon when we stopped for the traditional nature break, and for the rest of the ride the pace remained fairly high. I was again a little surprised at how good I felt. As usual, the eight mile stretch along Hwy 439, aided by a quartering tailwind, developed into a bit of a race as we attacked the climbs and hammered the flats, averaging a bit under 26 mph and continuing down Sie Jenkins Road before finally stopping to regroup. Later, after turning south on Lee Road, the pace gradually started ramping up again, ending with a 35 mph sprint for the Enon town sign. After riding tempo up the watchtower climb, Daniel put the hammer down after the Factory Road sprint and somehow we lost Ed. I thought we’d regroup at Tung Road, but they weren’t taking any more prisoners and the pace remained steady for those last four boring straight miles back to the parking lot, again averaging over 25 mph. I was glad to finally have gotten in a solid week of riding, finishing up just shy of 300 miles with a fair amount of quality time. Next week we’ll be trying for a Thursday evening training race at the NOLA Motorsports Park where a couple of the guys have arranged or some free track time for us. That should be interesting, although the jury remains out as to whether or not I will actually be able to get there by 6 pm.