Shawn stitched the various ride spots of Merrimack together in a nicely cohesive way and by the end of the day we had close to 40mi done. Pace ended up being pretty spirited but manageable. Early on I didn't feel all that hot and spent most of the morning tail gunning. Then I ripped my tire open on a fast rocky powerline descent. It wouldn't seal and I had to throw a tube in. My bike was also making some kind of weird clicking noise (that I still need to figure out) and I was worried that my day had gone sideways and the stars were not in line for me.
Then we hit Millipede and everything was right in the world. Someone had blown the leaves off of several singletrack trails in the middle of the ride and they were all awesome. Pace elevated to somewhat ridiculous levels considering the length of the ride but its hard not to let it rip in a group like that in those conditions.
Shawn's better half met us halfway with food and fluids ready. Supported team rides? Can't beat it. We then got over to Horse Hill to ride some of the great NEMBA built singletrack there. Great stuff but a little climby for 30mi into a ride and we were all starting to feel it. Many of us commented on how it felt like we were stuck at mile 33. Luckily my legs were coming around and I wasn't tail gunning anymore (until we hit pavement).
We rolled back in averaging close to 10mph for the day to chili and wings ready and waiting. I'm not even entirely sure the day could have been any better. Except for having the hot tub running. Nothing like sitting in a hot tub with a bunch of dudes after riding around with a bunch of dudes. Maybe next year.