I drove up to Indy today to ride with Team Treachery & Deceit (the new team name for the Wilkes/Raynor group now that they have actual team kits). It was great to see the guys, many of whom I had not seen in months. Most of all, I was glad to see Karl back on the bike again looking as strong as ever. Ride-leader Jim did a great job picking a 41-mile route that took us out, into the wind, down to Avon, and then back home with the wind. He even managed to work a couple of decent climbs into the route. It was a no-drop ride, and the group rode at a reasonable pace and with due attention for any riders who fell off the back (for once, I was not among them). As so often happens in early-season group rides, one of our number went down after touching wheels late in the ride, when a bit of fatigue was setting in; but he seemed no worse for wear, and was able to ride all the way in with the group.
It was my second ride on the new Bianchi Oltre and my first group ride with the new bike. I think I need to bring the handlebars up 1 cm, but other than that, I loved it. The power transfer is so superior to my old (and still adored) Merlin Cyrene. As I noted after my shake-down ride, the ride is not as cushy as the Merlin, but overall the comfort level was quite high.
The only downside of today's ride is that my back started complaining in the last 10 miles or so (which is why I'm contemplating making a handlebar adjustment). I'm hopeful that I can stretch out my back well enough tonight that it won't stiffen up and cause me problems tomorrow.