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

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Klondike Gold Rush

In 1897, gold was discovered near Dawson City in the Yukon territory, and hopeful adventurers stampeded north to try and make some of 12.5 million ounces mined in the area since then their own. Almost as valuable as gold after a hot bike ride a couple of hours long is a frozen cold square of chocolate covered ice cream. Yes, the John Hall Store now has Klondike Bars!

  I got one after today's ride and when it was spotted by the other riders who were stowing bikes and engaging in after-ride chit chat, there was a stampede to rival that of the Yukon! I think the bike club cleaned out the store's supply today.

The ride itself was pretty darn good. We had a big turn out and broke down into about 3 sub sections going various lengths. Michelle called in 30 mins prior to start time to ask where we where. No one else had showed up where she was in Pintlala. That made sense, since we were in Cecil, at the John Hall Store. She said to start without her, and she'd catch up. We pulled out at 8:00, and she did in fact find us not 10 miles out. Pedalling along at 22, she overtook us quite handily, as Club Lite is advertised in the 14 - 16 range average speed. She pulled up just as Michael and I were helping Jim with a flat tire. I already had a pump out, but Michelle was THRILLED to offer us her CO2 gizmo. Readers with good memories will recall the LAST time Michelle tried to use her CO2 inflator. By way of compromise, Jim pumped up the tire workably firm, and then topped it off with CO2. I think HE recalled the story of the earlier CO2 event. His tire was good for the rest of the ride though so all was well.

Before we reached the flat tire point, we had our nature encounter for the day. Peggy screamed louder than I have ever heard her, someting that sounded like, "ssssssssnnnnAAAKKKKEEE!"  or similar. I was looking all around and saw nothing. Then looking down, I had to move quickly to my left to avoid running over said snake. It was a copperhead, which you hardly ever see, and the snake thought my fully lugged bike was pretty cool too. At least to judge from the other rider's comments. "Did you see that snake reach up to get his foot?" Uh, how high was he guys?  They said he missed me by 4". At least.

We alerted an oncoming jogger (iPod equipped) to look DOWN as well.

Today was the initial ride in new "Boosucker" shorts.

 I kid you not. With a name like that I had to get a pair. A bamboo/poly blend in a seersucker weave. They are super comfy both on and off the bike. No chamois (but then I rarely wear one anyway) and they look good, and not like bike shorts. Except for the reflective tape on the back of the leg hems. Well, hopefully that'll draw an admiring glance once in a while, eh?
If you have boosucker envy, you get 'em at After the ride, I mowed the yard in them and they were just as great. No bunching or dragging on you when wet. Here's an action shot:

I know. It looks more like a brie and Bordeaux ride than a sweat producing effort. I can only say that they feel better than I look in them.

We did Michelle's favorite route which includes Highlog rd. The Johns were speculating that recent rains would leave a treacherous muddy path to manage on Highlog, but those of us who went there found only a short stretch of packed sand and the usual coarse asphalt. It was really a fun section and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

After the Fitzpatrick store stop, we turned and did the 12 miles to home. I finished dead last, and a show of hands for who is surprised at that, but since I averaged 15.48 mph (32 miles all told +/-) on a LITE ride, I am quite content. Michael even asked me if I'd fed the squirrels something extra today.

It was a good ride in that there was time and opportunity to catch up with a number of people. I told Tim how much I am enjoying his book on the Mexican Revolution. He and his wife are going to Nashville this Summer. I knew they are musicians, but did not know she is a songwriter too. Chatted a lot with Michael. He and Julie have found a place near her next duty station, but they wouldn't mind coming back and riding again with us. That may happen if she comes back to the Air College when next promotion time comes up. Michelle and I kicked around business, politics and religion. And the interaction of those 3. I like her new car too. Kathy talked about some friends coming to visit, and Peggy was going to study up some on snakes.

The weather was so nice. Temps stayed in the 60s and 70s, the sun was out and the winds were light or calm. All the dogs obeyed the bell. Mark this one down as one to remember in the hot hot days of August.

There is a beginner ride scheduled in a couple of weeks on 6/21. A heretofore non riding, but dues paying member (Sharon) of the club is planning to come out. A few of her friends are thinking about it too. I'm sorry we have to wait 2 weeks to get to it, but she's out of town from now until then. Her new Trek Pure Lowstep came in yesterday, and has seen some around the block trial action.

You'll notice that the seatpost is placed well back of the bottom bracket. That allows a very low seat height, but maintains good pedal efficiency. The seat is like an easy chair. The tires are 47s, but use high pressure and fast tread. Not designed for aero rider position, but at speeds of up to about 15 mph, that won't matter.

More details and pics after we ride.


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