Last Thursday, we began the ride with a temperature of 92 degrees. Tonight, we started at 57. The difference was so stark, I pulled on tights and a jacket and was way too hot after the ride start but at least I was warm while trying to stir trouble in the parking lot. Unfortunately, with only 15 cyclists, some of them barely so, not a lot of post ride activity on which to report.
Things were so quiet, Jeff S jumped in the van and took a nap. Also there were Steve O, Mark C, Mitch, Recumbent Dude, Amanda, Sarge, Beth, Peggy, John, Cameron, Bruce, etc.. We headed out of the parking lot with 11 of the 15 in the "A" group,
Overcast skies, combined with a sunset of around 7:20pm, constrained the distance to around 22 miles, heading out Waterloo to Slough, where we lost a rider or two, out Sitterly to Marcy, heading west to Winchester and all along, a very moderate "B" type pace. In fact, things were so muted, when we came to an intersection, Mark C held his fast twitch muscles in check and actually stopped at the sign, crossed and looked back to see if everyone made it through. You'll see a double rainbow before you catch that scene again. We hit a few rollers along Winchester and here, Mark and Steve put in unenthusiastic attacks which I covered but they slowed and we all regrouped although by the time we reached Lithopolis, we were down to 7-8 people.
Through the 4-5 intersections navigated in Lithopolis, Mark C was amazingly polite but you could tell he was struggling mightily with the temptation to attack us at each. Someone said, while watching him control his reflexive instinct, it was like sitting a drunk at a bar with free drinks, like watching an addict sit in front of a bag of free drugs, like watching an overeater sit at a table with an assortment of pies, like....well, you get the idea. To his credit, Mark resisted the temptation and we made it through the town, together. On the run into Canal, there was a flurry of attacks but nothing too serious and we arrived in the parking lot with a 20.5mph average.
Then, we headed to Kingys where Mark R and Karen, Franz, Tall Dude and Eve were waiting. To this mix were most of tonight's cyclists and we had 19 at the table. Recumbent Dude's patience was tested when first he demanded to the waitress that his time was valuable and that she needed to take his order immediately. The waitress rewarded Nathan later with the news his order of mushroom pizza was delayed because while flipping it, it landed on the hairy arm of the kitchen help and they were trying to pick all the hair out before bringing the pizza out. The rest of us were patient with the service and our food was great.
In the meantime, Mitch was circulating firewater poured from a paper bag into small plastic cups. Those that tried it held up well with only a couple of exceptions. Now for the real news. Cyclist Connection has started up a team of racers and ordinary people. I was stunned by how low into the cycling gene pool Rick has scooped to fill out the team and I won't name names but I was encouraged enough to think here may be the team for me. True, it may require me to buy advertising space on the next iteration of the jersey (maybe "Mark's Cycling Blog") but the Blog is not beneath bribery to achieve its goals. I mean, for heaven's sake, Eve bought space on the jersey and will wear one!!!!......wait......would I want to be on a team that had.........