I rode with a small group from the parking lot today. Recumbent Dude (me), Kenda Janet (the dominant female – I'll explain later), Jeff the Little Diesel, Mark V and Kevin. We sat around waiting on the huge 9 o'clock group that we were sure that the blog would bring into the parking lot, but alas, it was slim pickings. Also in the parking lot was Grand Poobah, the Green Caboose, Franz (I hope I got that right) and possibly another. I mention them separately, because after brief consultation with one another, they intelligently left and went to breakfast. I don't think they rode because their cars weren't in the parking lot when I returned. I can't say I blame them if they didn't.
Anyway, all assumed Mark would be there, ready to ride and stood around discussing the matter when at 8:55 he pulled into the parking lot, wearing jeans and a polo shirt along with that normal ornery grin he gets on his face when he's getting ready to say something that he thinks is going to be funny. Out of the car he leaps to immediately be met with a “Where are you cycling clothes?!”
Now at this point he claimed, with a nearly straight face that he had forgotten a critical piece of clothing that would not allow him to ride, but a request to see if his bike was even in his trunk was met with frightened looks and stammered statements about it not mattering because he didn't have the right clothes... I'll let you, the intelligent reader decide whether you think his bike was in his car or not. I only report the facts, I don't want to stir the pot or anything.
So, a couple pictures later, Mark is back in his car and headed at mind-numbing speed toward the exit, in a mad dash to short-cut the first Official roving ride of the year, and set the tone for his 2011 riding habits. Like I said, I am just reporting the facts. I don't want to editorialize or anything.
Following Mark's swift departure, the discussions began about how far we were riding. Kenda Janet told us that we would be riding the short route today and the longer route tomorrow when it was warmer. As the dominant female in the group, I have no choice but to listen. I have a strict hierarchy about who I let tell me what to do and it always starts with the dominant female. I'm not sure why, life just seems easier that way. I always like it when Janet is the dominant female. Cindy always opts for the long route and I don't have her endurance. Having been told what to do, we dressed and departed the parking lot.
Side note: I do love these roving rides. Mostly because they paint the directions on the road, and anyone who has ever ridden with me, knows that I completely suck at reading a map while riding a bike. So thanks to whomever painted those arrows today. I appreciated the fact that you painted multiple arrows when approaching a turn and then painted a confidence arrow following the turn. (Bob, I hope you followed suit for SPOT next week)
Back to the report:
Following our departure, things became a bit of a blur. The pace wasn't grueling. It was brisk, yet reasonable. It rained, it rained, it got warmer and nearly pleasant for about 20 minutes then it rained and the wind blew and then blew colder, making limbs that had long since warmed up, cold again somehow. The Little Diesel did quite a bit of pulling as usual. We talked about how much the weather looked like it might improve but amazingly never seemed to and then....it was over.
We pulled into the parking lot after 35 miles, formed up into a brief post-ride pow-wow to re-live the ride, realized that everyone had the same thing to say; “It's cold and rainy and supposed to be better for the Canal Ride tomorrow morning at 9am” a lot of folks are planning on making up for the short ride today with a good ride tomorrow.
A minute or so into the pow-wow it was almost as if a carton of dynamite exploded in the group. People dashed in every direction toward the warmth and dryness of their vehicles, to make quick exits that nearly, but not quite, mimicked the exit by Mark earlier that morning.