This is called a drop ride, which means that if you fall off, you stay off and are dropped by everyone else why they keep going. They are fun because they force you to work hard, but they are not fun if you get dropped and don't know the route. I got dropped and didn't know the route, but thankfully Anna M had gotten dropped too and David F was kind enough to stay with both of us, so I still got in a great ride. The SVMIC ride is about 62 miles, but I cut 13 miles off because I wanted some TT practice for next weekend's state TT. I would guess (not having looked at my Garmin) that about 20 miles were with people and 19 miles were by myself.
I managed to stay with the group for the first 26 minutes. Yikes! They were moving fast!
Here is the route; I had to map it backwards because I couldn't remember how we'd gotten to Leipers Creek the first time I looked at the map. So what you see us going down at mile 21 we actually climbed.
Anna and I must have looked up around the same time and saw that hill. She asked what it was, and I said, "A wall!" David informed us it was Theta, one of the well-known difficult climbs around here. It wasn't long, but it was definitely steep and challenging!