I think we got really spoiled on our first two rides of Season #5, with temps in the mid 50’s. Honestly, I think we all knew it was going to be short-lived. Well, Ride #3 and #4 made that a reality.
Even though the ride start temp for Ride #3 was in the low 40’s, we still had 75 riders show. The usual A group, two B groups, 2 C groups and a D group. The forecast held true with temps rising over the entire 2-hr ride time. I think it cracked the 50 degree mark before returning back to the ride start. All in all, a great ride in the books, along with the selfless efforts of our Ride Leaders.
If you ever want to experience close up a big helping of humility, just go out and create something much bigger than yourself, and then seek out those who are willing to help make that a reality. Then, watch their dedication going on 5 years. That’s our Ride Leaders and we’ve added 7 new Leaders this season alone. This and the Jackson County Brevet are the two reoccurring things every year that I get to see this up close and personal. I would challenge you to find something you are passionate about and then go create something big around that. Then, you will get to experience what I do every year.
It’s pretty cool driving up to the ride start and seeing a mobile bike shop on wheels already there, set up to help our riders on any last minute maintenance tweaks, forgotten tubes, glasses, shoes, helmets…you name it. Velofix (aka Brian Williams) certainly brings the meaning of convenience to cycling in a totally new light. He’s slated to be a Ride #5 in his usual spot.
It certainly felt more like winter with a riding start temperature of 32 degrees. It’s always a bit chilly starting out with a handful of traffic intersections but once you hit the 4-5 mile mark, (at least for me), that chill is being replaced with some body heat that is generated from turning those pedals. From then on, it always turns into a really great ride. When my group rolled up to the U-Haul, it went from 32 degrees to 47 degrees. Have to admit, I LOVE it being around that 44-47 range because I know my body heat, along with a nice fleece base layer and fleece jersey, will keep my quite toasty without sweating…and then freezing my butt off.
With a more frigid start than Ride #3, we certainly anticipated the head count to be down. By all accounts, we attracted about 55 riders. Hey, if it’s freezing outside and 50 or more riders show up, you better be really happy. Whether it’s 50 or whatever number, we are extremely grateful for every ride who chooses to come out and join our series.
Not too much different than Ride #3, with only having one C group, it was the same as before; just a few helmets and bikes less. But, that didn’t stop two riders from showing up with a bit of a surprise for our U-Haul family. By the way, I want to emphasize that U-Haul allows us access to their INDOOR bathrooms every year since day one. Ride long enough and you come to greatly appreciate that at a ride. Anyway, our always smiling Ellie rolled up and passed off a box of dozen donuts for the U-Haul team. I’m sure they were happy about that; hey, it involves donuts. Enough said.
Our second surprise was from patriarch Ride Leader Jim Walsh’s daughter Theresa, rolling up (pun intended) with a case of toilet paper. Dang women, always thinking so much more practical than us guys. Wished I could have been inside to see their facial reactions on this one. First, it’s donuts and then toilet paper. I hope they didn’t think we were trying to make a connection on them…
Now that it’s 2018 (still hard to believe 2017 is gone), that means we have arrived to our midway point of our 10-ride series. This means most groups will get past Fairburn where it really opens up to some super flat stretches where fine-tuning your skills at riding in a group come into play. That said, I used this stretch of road to introduce to the group I was in, a super neat and fun element to group riding that generally never gets covered, discussed or practiced among the majority of riders. A little sketchy at first, but they smoothed out and rode like poetry in motion. Like I told them, when I get to ride and experience this and other very unique group ride skills, I don’t need any man-made drugs; riding in these settings gives me a much greater ‘high’. Watch out to see what group I ride next time…or what I may introduce to the group.
Mark your calendars for January 13th for Ride #5. We ride but we have FUN, too!!!
See ya on the road,