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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

That was the June that was.

My riding mileage is waaay down this year. A number of factors have cooperated to make this so. Weather, job situation, and conflicting needs for my time elsewhere. I've also had ride-able days that I just did not want to get out and ride on.There have still been some nice outings though and yesterday's was no exception in this regard. I finally posted a metric route with a stop for brunch time bagels and hoped that it would see some response. It has been a while since we rode somewhere for the express purpose of eating.

My two most regular riding buddies were not able to make it, but two others (Glenn and Robert) showed up at the start point. Ron also came by to say hello before heading to the store to pick up groceries. He said that he was not up to the distance quite yet, as he rehabs following last year's injury accident. Nice to see him though. Truth be told, I think he could have ridden with us okay, but he knows how he feels best.

Robert zoomed into the parking lot, as he was running close on time and jumped out to start putting all his gear together. Then he looked up and said, "I can't go. I forgot my shoes." He has the delta style cleats and did not want to do a metric on those pedals in his sneakers. ("why not?" I thought to myself. "I've done that.") Ron offered to swap pedals with him, but had no pedal wrench next to the kitchen sink that he has mounted on his bike. (If you saw Ron's bike, you'd understand. he has shown up for a ride with a folding chair mounted, and usually rocks 3 handle bars simultaneously). No one had the wrench. Then Glenn suggested we ride the route in reverse and pick up Robert in MIllbrook, where he lives. That's why Glenn is a project manager! He and I pulled out to ride the 6 miles over while Robert packed up and got back in the car.

We were only a block up the road when I saw blue flashing lights in my mirror. Turning around, I saw that Prattville's finest had pulled Robert over! Wonder what he did? Anyway, Glenn & I decided to keep on. We figured he might be 30 minutes sharing information with the officer. You know, license, registration, wants and warrants. That sort of stuff. We got to the park in Millbrook and pulled up to wait. I took out my phone and started a text to let Robert know we were waiting. Before I finished, he came roaring up on his bike. It turns out he made a U turn in the middle of a main road and the officer explained that it was illegal and came with a hefty fine. Could he refrain from doing that?  Robert decided that this was a good time not to rant about government control and the police state, and simply said, "Sure thing Officer!" and was allowed to continue on his merry way.

We decided to do an out and back instead of the loop, as we had lost some time, but we were still looking at 52 miles. The ride over was fine, with overcast clouds and reasonable temps. It was very humid so there was still sweat, particularly when we were not moving. I have not gone this direction for a while and got disoriented in two neighborhoods that we went through, taking the back way across Montgomery. So yes, I had to do U turns too.  No police for those however.

When we got to Panera Bread, we ordered our food and relaxed with it out on the side walk.

You cannot get a bagel in Prattville, so this was a delicious treat for me. We did not get lost on the way back (the direction usually taken) and although there was a pretty decent headwind, we still made good time. Glenn was relaxing the whole time but I was working pretty hard. He just rides faster than I do. So does Robert, but his miles are also way down this year. Having a new baby can do that :). In fact, I'm looking forward to meeting her soon.

I was pleased that I ended with a decent average pace for me, that the bike (Rivendell) rode smoothly over some rough road, handled fabulously in general and that I just enjoyed the ride. It burns off the adrenalin and I felt so relieved and relaxed afterward.

June has seen other good rides too. At our Sunday relaxer last week, we had 2 new attendees. Brian (music director at church) is really new, having learned to pedal a bike in his 30s just a few weeks ago. He brought his brother in law Perry along and they were both fine companions. I hope to see them again. We did a very hilly ride in Wetumpka last Saturday and we rode in Pintlala the week prior to that, so we are getting a good taste of roads from all over.

After the ride yesterday, Sharon & I drove to Southern Homes & Gardens just to look for ideas, and we bumped into Michael S who was doing the same thing. Michael rode up Mt Cheaha with me a few years back. He works at the bike shop in Montgomery now and is a very good runner and rider. Then when Sharon & I went to the Ghengis Grill (very tasty and plenty of vegan options) for dinner, we saw Darren B in the parking lot. It was his birthday and he was meeting family there. Darren rode (and won!) for the local cycling team before it ended, and talked about a new one starting up. Both Michael and Darren are way faster than me and neither would ever be seen on a bike like I ride, but cycling is an activity where it's okay to come from different perspectives and we get along fine and appreciate what each other does.

Tailwinds everybody!

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