5fer Thursday, Side Cut Metropark
(6:30 through Aug. 31; 6:00 from Sept. 1 - 30)

Thursday is a gala TAB evening featuring five levels of group riding based on varying average ride pace, each with its own ride leader.  The course heads west out of Sidecut Metropark on River Road, and for four of the groups, takes a windy course to Oak Openings Metropark.  Three of the groups go through the park before turning north on Girdham Road and then heading east on Monclova Road.  The fourth group enters the park and turns north on Wilkins Road and then picks up Monclova Road heading east, which shaves about two miles off the distance taken by the first three groups.  This makes the course about 26 miles for the first three groups and 24 for the fourth. 

All four groups take Monclova Road back to Monclova School where they turn onto Black Road and retrace the route back to Sidecut Metropark.  The fifth group rides a distance of about 20 miles.  It takes the same course as the other four rides up to Whitehouse-Spencer Road, at which riders head north and pick up the North Fork of the Wabash Cannonball bike trail.  Riders take the trail east to Black Road where they may either retrace the route back to Sidecut or detour after Black Road onto Russell Road and then turn southeast on Fallen Timbers Lane to Jerome Road and back to the park.

The five groups leave the park based on the pace they will ride, with the fastest-paced riders leaving first.  Speed out of the park along River Road is to be no greater than 20 mph.  The first group (Hot Group) will ride at a pace that generally will be in the mid-20s or better, with speeds reaching the mid-30s on a sprint.  The second group (Xtra Spicy Group) will ride at a pace generally in the low to mid-20s and can reach 30+ on a sprint.  For both groups, there is only one sprint that occurs on a consistent basis – on Monclova Road between Whitehouse-Spencer Road and Eber Road.  Other impromptu sprints are discouraged in the interests of safety.  The groups tend to come back together after sprints. 

The third group (Spicy + Group) will generally ride at a pace of 18 to 19.5 mph, but will have bursts beyond 20.  There are no sprints.  The fourth group (Spicy) rides at a pace of 16 to 18 mph with no sprints. The fifth group (GLR Group) will adapt more to those riding that night, but tend to ride in the 14 to 16 mph range, and is ideal for novice riders trying to get group riding experience.

Side Cut Metropark, Silver Lake Side