Another Tour de Corn has come and went, and as always it was an excellent ride. I work Saturday’s now but arranged to have the day off for this ride, it’s one that I’d hate to miss. My friend Eli made his first appearance at the TdC this year and is looking forward to coming back next year.
Tour de Corn is a family fun ride and attracts a huge crowd of over a 1000 riders of very diverse levels. My friend Jim gave me a ride, he never misses the Tour de Corn. It’s funny, I’ve been doing this so long and in such a mindset that I don’t really think about cycling from a casual perspective any more. In the parking lot a group of casual riders took a look at my bike and asked, “Is that one of those carbide bikes,” First I fought back the urge to laugh, then I fought back the urge to explain the Cannondale Six13’s interesting composite design with it’s aluminum rear triangle and headtube connected together with carbon maintubes. I just said, “It’s got some metal in it.”
I hooked up early with friends, JW, Shon, Justin, and Tony, who was doing the 100 miler. Not long after we turned off on the 60 mile route we were passed by a tandem and a couple guys. I couldn’t resist and soon we had a pretty fast train going. It was obvious we had a tail wind because 24 mph felt downright easy.
Sidewinds in the flats make for some challenging riding. The draft is usually at a 45 degree angle behind the rider in front of you, but with the straight and empty roads of East Missouri we could safely spread out and take a whole lane.
We got to ride all day with a guy named Kim, a real character. He didn’t look like he’d be that fast, but the guy was a turbo diesel. He has ridden over 8000 miles since last August and lost over 100 pounds, not to mention he was oldest rider in the group at 64 years old. He had a very sweet Maipei Colnago bike and several times was vocal about the qualities of steel. “I can see why all these guys riding carbon want wider tires now, they ride like crap,” he said. I was loving it.
It was pretty much tailwind and crosswinds all the way out and headwind all the way back. Our group whittled down a bit near the end. We eventually hooked up with a guy named Barry Knight, he looked like the real deal and rode like the real deal. He helped us keep things moving.
As we were approaching the final rest stop we merged in with the 30 mile group who would now have ridden a bit over 20 miles in the same time we had rode 50. Bike traffic was heavy but this is the part of the ride where it’s hard not to hit the gas. Through here Barry pretty much decimated the group, I hung on his wheel but it pretty much killed me to hang on. I pulled into the rest stop and nearly died, Barry was out of sight. They told me later that Barry was known for dominating area Triathalons and a quick google search confirms it. JW was like, “He was just playing with us, that guy can do the bike leg of a triathlon and average 27 mph.” Wow!
I was pretty happy with my time, I finished the ride with a 20.2 average. Thomas Gee, a rider from Paris Tennessee that I follow on Strava was in the 100 mile group that passed us while we were stopped at the second rest area. The group he was in was the fastest for the day, finishing the 100 mile route in in 4 hours 40 minutes. Oh he’s 63 as well.
Again it was another action packed Tour de Corn, the volunteers and stops were exceptional as always, the wind created some challenge and kept the temperature down. If you’re a cyclist of any sort you shouldn’t be missing this ride.