Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Am I my brother's keeper?

This post was originally written in February 2007

The question in today's ride report title was famously asked many years ago and is commonly seen to have a broad application, beyond just those who are genetically siblings. It certainly applies to cyclists out for a randonee (French for "excursion") in the countryside.

I was surprised and delighted when Bilee posted the Mt. Carmel Church luncheon ride for today. Surprised because it is not yet spring, and delighted, because it's a fun ride! After talking to Bilee, it turns out that Alice is the true mastermind behind today's feast, and gets all our well-deserved thanks. For those who have yet to do this, we gather at Pintlala Baptist Church, ride 35-ish miles, make lunch and gab a while, then ride some more until we get back to our cars. Those who have had all the fun they care for after climbing up to Mt. Carmel can take the provisions vehicle back to the starting point. Someone needs to, anyway. Today the menu included peanut butter (homemade by our our master chef, Charles Farrow!) two flavors of jelly, bananas, cookies, Fig Newtons, and drinks. There was some "gorp," too, (raisins/peanuts/M&Ms) as we used to call it on Scout hikes as kids.

We had about a dozen riders today. The weather was wonderful, starting out as arm-warmer temperature but warming up as the sun rose in the sky. Half of the riders had on the new Club jerseys and they looked really good. I need to remember to wear mine next time. I did have club arm warmers on--is there partial credit? We took the first half of the club metric-century route which most of us had not ridden in several months. The road was good and traffic low. There was plenty of chit chat along the way. Jim, glad to hear that your wife is coming along. Ann, we miss you, and hope your knee clears up soon. John has a cool 3-day ride idea for the Ladiga Trail. I bored Bill silly with my work-related insurance cases. He's faster than I am so he was able to escape by pedaling to the front of the pack. His brother, Britt, rode with us today. Britt is more of a mountain biker but has a Bianchi road machine which came late last year. Joe and I were very glad that the headwinds this week were half or less of what they were last Saturday.

We had a flat-free day, no crashes, and no real dog problems. Several canines ran to check us out but none were too difficult to deal with. We saw dog owners out too and they did their best to corral the mutts. I think for the most part the dogs just would have preferred to run with us, if they could have. At a couple of stops I noticed Bilee and Alice having a little trouble with clipping in. I suggested that they try Mephistos, like I have. They really are comfy on and off the bike and I never have trouble with clipping in or out. Okay, okay. They don't HAVE cleats. (I use an MTB-style power grip strap instead) And NO, my wool jersey was not uncomfortably hot, thank you very much.

We made sure we had everyone at all the turns. Sometimes this involved extra waiting/resting time. About 4 miles from the end, we realized we were missing Britt and Jack. Jack called Bilee on the cell phone to say he had lost Britt too. We decided that it should be a family matter and that his brother Bill should go look for him. Bill asked the title question, which launched a whole discussion on how we have dealt with our siblings. "Yeah, stand on that ant hill. They're littler than you, don't worry about it." "What? you want ME to bring you pain killers? I am not in pain." It was truly eye opening and hilarious. And here I was thinking that only I gave my sibs a hard time. Apparently not. Well, Britt broke up our reminiscences by showing up. Without Jack. Jack was apparently only a mile behind us but I am sure it took him 30 minutes to do that mile. Anyway, all together again, we headed for home. I always like to get behind John on the last leg of a ride. His bike is like that proverbial horse heading for the barn. John and Jack and I made a little line and we took turns pulling into the wind which only seemed tough because we were flagging in our energy levels.

Our peleton breakaway group was told to turn left at the Day Lily House, rather than right, so we were about 3 1/2 miles shy of what the others did. I showed 49.77 miles at the end, so I lapped the parking lot to get over 50. As it turns out, I brought up the tail end of the wagon train, and averaged 14.8 mph. We would have gone slower if anyone needed to, but I didn't really care to go any faster. Others were more sprightly so they trucked along at a smarter pace. We did over 1,800 feet of roller climbing today, so it was a great hill-repeat workout, too. I think a steady grade of the same climb would have been easier.

Thanks again to Alice and friends for putting this on. Membership fees are coming due, so spread the word. Get people signed up, suited up, and riding.

Tailwinds everybody.


No comments:

Blog Archive

The Pace Line