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

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yay for a Pretty Saturday!

I've been looking forward all week to a ride today. We're busy at work trying to cement some deals and process ones we already have. Some people with prayer needs have been on my mind and in my prayers a lot this week too. So first off, Ginger and Rhonda, if you guys are reading, hugs and prayers for each of your situations. Also, I teach 3rd and 4th grade kids at church on Weds nights (Book of Proverbs basically) and while I pray for all of them, one in particular has been sort of a mission for me lately. The rides are my relief valve for the tensions of the week, let alone exercise and enjoyment.

But on to the ride report.

Although today began with some fog, the Sun burned it off and we had nice weather for most of our Club Lite ride today. Ann, Tommy, Joe, and I met at the John Hall Store for an 8:30 departure. When I arrived, cars with empty bike racks were already there; evidence that more gung ho than us riders were already out turning the cranks.

It was 54F but the misty conditions made it feel cooler. Having already agreed by emails that this ride would be both brief and relaxed, I opted for the Bike Dork look today. (I have been told that ALL bike outfits look dorky, but you know how it is. Some people make ANY outfit look great and others, such as yours truly look less good no matter what threads happen to be hanging on my frame.) I was certainly comfortable through the entire temperature and cloudy/foggy to Sun range we encountered. Ann and Joe dressed like our path would lead to the South Pole, while Tommy just looked kind of normal. Here's Arctic Annie: You decide. It was 65F at our return when this picture was taken.

We decided to do an easy out and back to Fitzpatrick. It's only 12 ish miles each way and pretty level roadbed all the way. A few gentle changes to elevation, but nothing much. The downer for that route has always been the atrocious condition of the section that runs along the old railway route (some maps still show the RR, but it has long been gone.) People have lost mirrors, pumps, pocket change and probably dental fillings while rattling down the mile and half of un remitting chuckholes and coarse pavement. It always gave me a sense of superiority though. FINALLY, somewhere it made sense to be on a steel framed bike with fat tires and a leather saddle. (As an aside, Mark at Chain Reaction asked me this week, "So, have ever actually RIDDEN a carbon frame Bruce?" Like, what's your point Mark? Are you suggesting something about carbon there? It's okay. I like Mark, and try to send potential victims, err customers, his way when I can.)

Today however, the curtain came down on my mile and half of coarse cobbled Kindgom. CR 2 is now paved. It is beautiful. Smooth as silk and a delight on any frame bike you could think of. Here are a couple of pics:

This first one shows the new roadbed and Ann, Joe and Tommy. You can see there is a gravel shoulder now as well as a new roadway.

The second one was suggested by Ann. To dispel the rumor that I have no friends, she thought having a picture would be good proof.
She was nice enough to pay the other 2 models in the picture to pose with me for the effect.

After the photo shoot was over we continued to head home. The breeze picked up. How many times have you wondered, "Where did that headwind come from?" I can assure my readers that the winds were calm on the way out. Flags were standing straight out in the breeze by the time we were done. We took turns in the lead and while I got a good work out, it wasn't all that tiring. I did think that a mustache handlebar leaves something to be desired in headwind situations. I enjoyed it at other times though. This is the first bike I've owned that had them.

Here's a picture of "Mark" (The frame model is a Mark III)
I'm also still breaking in the Brooks saddle for it, so shorter rides ARE better for now. It has 650B wheels and 32.8 mm file tread tires. Very cool. I think we averaged about 16 mph on the ride, but I am not sure. I forgot to reset my cyclometer before we started. It was close to the target range anyway (I ride 13 - 15 mph mostly)

As we were coming up the hill about 4 miles out, all of a sudden I hear Joe yell, "Watch out!" and I hear a crash! Looking back, there was Joe getting a detailed view of the pavement from an inch away! Yikes!! I turned around to come back to him just as Tommy came up to us. Ann was in the lead and, still going up grade, from where she stopped to look back as well. Hmm, what happens when you stop on a hill? CRASH! Now there are TWO riders on the pavement. Ann didn't want Joe to feel bad I guess. Joe said he caught my rear wheel, but I honestly didn't feel a thing. Ann just tipped over and kept going. Kind of like a "can't clip out in time" happening. I was afraid Joe hurt his elbow but all that winter gear came in handy as padding and he seemed to be Okay. Ann landed on her, err, a better padded part than an elbow. Joe experienced what happened in my Dec 2006 mishap: your head whips down hard at the ground in even a slow speed fall. You realize immediately the value of a helmet. Joe's hit the asphalt hard and I told him not to be a cheapskate but to replace the helmet. Not an old wives tale, Helmets ARE not reliable after just one hard impact. And let's face it, being able to tell his wife, "Honey, I don't want to buy new bike stuff, but I just HAVE to." is pretty sweet.

Back at the cars, the express train of early fast riders pulled in and we exchanged howdy dos. Then Bilee and Patty drove in, fresh from a lower body weight room work out. They're both in training for the next Sr. Olympics and we are all very proud of them. We cut them no slack however, and they return the favor. Bilee came over to see Joe's boo boo and fussed over him like a team trainer. "Is there any blood Joe?' "Aww, just a little bit." he replied as he peeled the legging down to show her. At the mention of blood, Patty was interested too. Bilee then told Joe he had "good leg muscles, btw." I tell you, He's just a chick magnet. A tiny dab of blood, a tear in the leggings and he's got a babe for each arm. The rest of us could only bask in his glow. Tommy made sure he got very little glow. He was back leaning on his truck. I had to get close enough to get the pic and details for the blog report of course.

So there you have it. A nice morning with friends. Or paid models who posed as such. Tomorrow should be another chance to get some exercise in and enjoy the (finally!) beginning of Fall colors.


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