Saturday, October 15, 2005

For a better life

I came across a flyer for a ride in Jonesboro some time ago for the counseling center there that's part of the Southwest Church of Christ so I thought it would be fun to go back to Jonesboro and ride some of the area I'd ridden before. This was the year's best ride goody bag! We got gym bags (rather than the usual plastic bags) with a t-shirt, bandana, first aid kit, a book, pens, electrolytes replacement packets, cups, CD holder, and another bag filled with all sorts of stuff I haven't opened yet.

I got to the church about 8:20 after leaving my house a little after 6 a.m. The sunrise out on the fields was a beautiful way to greet the day ahead. Lots of riders there. The unusual part was how many Specialized brand bikes were there. There was even a Specialized tent! I rode around the parking lot a few times to loosen up and a few other guys came out and joined me. 9 o'clock came and they got us all together and made announcements and the "road is not closed for the ride so be careful" speech.

We take off and straight out of the gate I see we have some strong riders. We go through the downtown area and there are these brick pavers about every half block. They were rough but I didn't see anyone fall. There were people on the sidewalks cheering us one as we rode through. That was cool! We then head out through the subs and to the country.

We were challenged with wind and train tracks! Every since my wreck, I hate train tracks. I still pull out of a paceline when we come to the tracks. We have a small break away group of about 20 guys and going along at a nice 21-23 mph pace. I will tell you that these guys were competing for spots. There were times when I really thought I would have to pay someone to get back into the line.
So anyway, we are moving along and I realize the group is getting smaller and smaller. We are dropping guys like flies. What's up with this I wonder?!

I pass a rest stop and then take a curve and then I was solo except for the few folks about 50 yards ahead of me. They just hit the field crossing and the wind is popping us hard cross ways. I feel my bike leaning into the wind. That's always a strange feeling. Another guy comes along and we ride together for a talking as we start to gain a little on the 2 guys up ahead. We finally catch up and make a group of 4. There is a guy that was wearing a red jersey and this man could pull like Rob Carr does. The guys just seems to push the wind out of the way and rides right through. At one time when I was behind him I noticed he was starting to have salt lines across the top of his shorts. Pulling like that would do it.

So we are moving along good and we catch up with a couple other men. Ok, I have to tell you about these next two guys. When the ride first started there was this older guy on a Rock Hopper mountain bike. Had the VW/Rock Shox jersey and all. I thought ok, he'll drop before long on that fat tire bike. But here's the deal. No one would pass him at the start. He was someone special because I could tell easily from the way the local riders were treating him. So here we are about 50 miles into the ride and the guy had gotten way ahead. He was somebody alright! I hope I'm like him when I'm his age! We all took turns pulling and stayed together and took it on home. Even though it was not a competition we were the first back and I was number 6 in! Not bad!

I blew every rest stop today since I had my own food in my jersey and a water and Gatoraid Endurance in the bottles.

I said my goodbyes and thanked the volunteers and called Terri to let her know I was safe and on my way home.

Got to the house, showered and had a bite to eat. Asleep on the sofa for about an hour and when I got up my leg said "cramp baby!!" Ouch ouch ouch... I can hear it now..."Geo, if you would have stopped at a rest stop.."

I watched some of the TX vs. CO game. TX whipped the Buff's. I really like CO for there cycling team. There have been some star riders come out of that school. What's going to be fun is to read Jim's blog about them going to the TX game. I hope Trae got to go and cheer.

1 comment:

Fajita said...

George, we were so glad you rode in the Ride For A Better Life. We spent this morning reflecting on the race in our staff meeting and are planning ways to make it even better. We want riders like you to be here every year.

Hope the cramps are leaving you alone.