While I was waiting at a light on the way to the start, another rider pulled up beside me and said hi. She was planning to ride with Jamie too and we got chatting. Her ride to the start was a lot longer than mine - a good 10 miles.
The usual crowd gathered for the ride. No sign of Dennis The Waterford Wonder, but Keith showed up on a very nice Cervelo time-trial bike. He and I were stalwarts on Manny's ride last year but I don't think he's been on a Truth Squad run yet. Jamie (on the S5!) opted for the run out to Katy Mills Mall, a shortish route.
We headed out, with the usual suspects setting the pace. I was happy enough to hang back, feeling pretty comfortable. With a few miles to run to the turnaround Jamie opened up on the new bike, so I jumped on her back wheel. It has to be said that drafting behind a semi-pro female cyclist on Cervelo's most aerodynamic road bike is not a particularly rewarding experience - she wasn't blocking much wind.
A good break at the Walgreen's (Keith took the opportunity to ride the S5 around the parking lot!) and we headed for home. The wind was favorable for once and we cracked ahead. A bit further long I caught the speedsters at a light. I velcroed myself onto a rear wheel and was able to stay with them right to the end.
A warmish run through the park (no velcro on this stretch!) and then it was back down Memorial to the shop. My new friend was planning to ride home along Memorial but with the traffic building up she gladly accepted my offer to guide her through the subdivisions to Gessner. She's an impressive young woman - Houston born and bred and a graduate of Rice University, now working as an IT consultant. She has a nice bike too.