It's been a grind at work lately. Some issues on a job site project that resist (so far) attempts at resolution. Sales in 2008 have been slow for most people in our industry, and we are no exception to that. (I should add that a great deal of work is committed to us by several customers, so when that dam breaks, it will be like drinking from a fire hose) Then there's the usual mix of odd quirks and ruffled feathers that can make an office edgy in any circumstance.
All the above has raised my adrenalin level and I knew that a ride was needed to unwind tonight. I was thinking of blowing it off though and just sitting around stewing, but that little voice said I always feel better once I get out and pedal. There were no postings about club hill rides today and no one mentioned the absence. No one that is except Frank. Frank and I started riding together a year or two ago, and he has rapidly outclassed me. He commutes 4 days a week doing a 50 ish mile round trip. He rides a fat tire bike with fenders, an upright sitting position and several tons of gear on it. At 22 - 24 mph. When I say Frank is a strong rider, I do not exaggerate. We like many of the same things and his company is always a treat. I love his email addy: FranktheCrank. Anyway, Frank emailed me today and said he'd been out of town, how about a ride. I begged off, "You know, I just want to cruise easy tonight, but thanks." Oh no, that was not going to happen. Frank wrote me back, "I'll just get behind you and let you set the pace. Where do we meet?" Did I really want the pressure of a good rider in company? I felt bad enough last week when I slowed Mike and Karen down to a relative crawl on our Prattville Loop.
Sometimes, things just happen Providentially. Tonight I set off in the lead on the Saluki and we ran at 16 - 18 for about 10 miles. That's pretty quick for that bike. We slowed when we climbed and we rested at the Trackside Cafe. ( While there, we got an explanation of why one of the workers had to go home and get leashes for the dogs penned up behind the adjacent general store. I suppose she just wanted us to know about her evening. We were total strangers.) Frank managed to get in front of me and take some pulls when I got tired and we kept our pace up on the flats pretty well. We finally discussed the end of the route and I said, "why don't we throw in a little hill, maybe Rocky Mount?" It's short and it's steep and you get to it after a mile of gradual climb that you get to after 1 1/2 miles of tougher climb, coming up out of Millbrook. Frank looked at me with a raised eyebrow, "Casual easy ride, did you say?" Bear in mind that he already had over 30 commuting miles in before meeting me for this joyride. Anyway, great sport that he is, we headed off together and did the climbing and then the reward: a 24 mph descent back to Wal-Mart.
I felt refreshed and cleansed in the way that only vigorous work makes one feel. The conversation was great, and ride effortless while at the same time tons of work. I had no idea it would be so very very excellent, but it was.
You just never know.
Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.
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