Well what a day... Got up in plenty of time and got over to the parking lot and oh man... the back tire is flat. I changed it and ready to go and I notice there are a lot of folks still around about a block from the start. Maybe it does start at 8 rather than 7:30... nope, the Black Hawk helicopter if coming and that's the start signal. Ugh! I pedal and fly up to the start and there are people just standing around. Come to find out it did start and I'm in the crew that is riding the less distances. There are all sorts of bikes and some little folks too. I knew I needed to get on around so I worked my way slowly through the crowd. Now I know why everyone wants to be upfront. It took until the first rest stop before the crowd thinned. Boy it was a mess until then too from where I was in the crowd. Folks were having a good time and that was the important part but they were sometimes 5 across just talking away.
I finally got out to Maumelle and I push it up to the big ring and off goes the chain. Wha?! I pull over and fix it. Not biggie. Embarrassed but oh well. I cruise on through Maumelle and spot Matthew in the crowd. We all group up a little and as we start to go down the hill out by the Plantation I push it up to the big ring for speed down the hill. Chain drops AGAIN! Crud! Lost my group. I get almost to Mayflower and the stupid thing does it yet AGAIN! What on earth? I'm not doing anything different.... other than getting really fed up with it. I'm feeling really great on the ride. You know sometimes when you are just really in the zone and feel like you could ride all day? I was feeling that today.
In Mayflower I make a decision to just do the 50 since the chain has now come off 3 times in 25 miles. I tell myself, Look you've had a great ride out here so why not just head back but give it your all. Push like you've not pushed in a long time. You are feeling strong so go for it. So I head back.
I had a really great ride back. 2 chain drops but hey I was getting used to it and becoming a pro at! Ha...in a way. I dropped it at Riverland so I wheeled off into the neighborhood and just as I start to head back out my sister Donna who lives in Riverland comes driving by. I also plug in my Ipod for the rest of the ride in. I needed some mental diversion. Me and a couple other guys were knocking it out at 22-23 mph and I was loving every second of it. We get to the Mexician place and it drops. Once again I loose my group. At this point I get in that "just ready to get the ride over with" mood. I rode solo the rest of the way in, grabbed some refreshments and headed to the house.
Sounds a bit whining and I guess I was a little but serious it was a great ride today! Even with the technicials it was a blast!
I took the bike over to the shop so they could look it over. I dropped my chain more today than I have all the years I've been biking so I knew it was something. Here's what I think. They tuned it up and maybe it was off just a tad...maybe. I dropped my chain last week 1 time. I think when I changed the back tube this morning I made it worse. But the bike has been riding so outstanding since the tune up.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning the garage and mowing the yard.
By the way... I have no hair...
Life is good... when the chain is on! HA!