I woke at the illegal hour of 3:30 and told myself to go back to sleep. I had he alarm set for 5 a.m. but I could only catnap until 4:16 and then said, "That's it. I'm up." I got up and shaved, showered and had a light breakfast and was out the door shortly before 5. It was a beautiful late summer morning with a crisp temperature of 63 degrees and a full moon. Looking like the perfect day or a bike ride.
I was surprised how many cars were on the road for a few minutes after 5 on a Saturday. No they didn't all have boats or 4 wheelers. I had emailed the guys leaving from Cook's to tell them not to wait but forgot to turn my cell phone on this morning and hey hadn't read the email. No big deal they only waited a few minutes then left. The ride was nice and I got to Morrilton quick. Petit Jean was only 12 miles away.I got to the bottom of the mountain and pulled over and grabbed the chalk and jumped out. The fun was beginning. Just before I got out, Keith and Brandon pulled up. We spoke for a few moments and then i had to get to work. Chalk in hand I began to scribble messages or my friends. I let a dozen messages on the mountain and then headed to register. Still had a little over an hour before the 8 o'clock start. I spoke with several friends and then found out we were going down that hill not up. Crud, almost all the messages are on the wrong side. I got out to the car and flew down the other hill that we would be climbing and then began to write messages. Mission accomplished
I got suited up and down to the staging area where Fast Girls and Slow Guys would be the biggest group! It was a festive feeling! After a couple of announcements I rode down to the dining area and quickly filled my water bottles. Back to the club zone. A couple o the guys looked at me funny and said, "Geo, are you just going to ride with one glove?" In the rush to get to the staging area I had put on only one glove. I laughed! In Texas I was forgetting to take my bike and on Petit Jean I was forgetting to put on 2 riding gloves.The ride was on! Of course several o my club shot out of the start like a cannon. Most kept up the pace the whole ride. I caught up with them at the lunch stop but of course they were leaving as I was arriving. I have a bite of pasta salad to eat and refill bottles and leave with Keith, Brandon and another guy. We ride a good ways hen I began to drop off. Brandon looks back and I motion for him to continue on with the others. I know where I am and have no problem riding the last miles solo. I see the guys and others have stopped at a rest stop but I continue on. I'm not going fast at all but I'm moving steady. They all pass me a bit later and then Paul Creel and his crew come by and tell me to come on. I did for a while but dropped. I was looking around enjoying the scenery. There was a reason for me taking my time on the ride. It would be my last long distance ride of the season.
I'm still going to ride but I'm not going to be glued to a thought process that tells me I have to be out there every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoon. Saturday rides can be in the afternoons now and Terri was excited when I told her because she can come ride with me now. I'm looking forward to that!
It's been a fun summer of riding. Actually it's been a fun 3 years of riding but I have come to taking my hobby a tad to serious. I have ridden around the state. I've ridden from Ft Smith to Cook's Landing in a day. I've ridden the Ride for the Roses in Austin Texas. I've ridden Hotter'n Hell in Wichita Falls, Tx. I've ridden Section 30a in FL. There are still rides I want to do such as the Mississippi bike trail. I still want to ride the Pacific highway in CA. Yes, I will still ride.I'm also looking forward to slowing down on my rides. There are lots of friends that won't ride with me because I ride too fast. Most of them ride around 15-18 mph. I can do that.
I told Terri tonight that I feel like I have 2 years of chores to do around the house. I used to wash the cars on Saturday mornings before anyone was up. I used to have nicely mulched flower beds now I have a side yard full of weeds. Max goes to his house tomorrow so I'll get the backyard cleaned but up, scrub the deck and make it livable once again. No, it's not all Max's fault but when he and Sadie chase each other they would send the patio furniture flying so we had to push it all up against the house and it looks terrible. I have to touch up paint as well as finish painting the kitchen. I need to tidy up the attic. Hey, it's after Labor Day so I might as well bring down the Christmas stuff right... wrong!!
Well, enough blogging for tonight. Time to spend time with the family...