Friday, June 16, 2006

70% chance of ride tomorrow. Ya better get your butt out there and ride!

Oh man, 70 % chance of rain tomorrow and 60% on Sunday. But on the other hand, we really need some rain. I've got a book I'm half way finished and a new Outside magazine with Floyd Landis (Phonak Hearing Systems bike team). But then the dogs will have to stay in too. Ugh!

I'm thinking of getting out and pedaling a little after work. Terri has been busting it getting ready for their state convention next week. She's the planner and there's a 1001 details that go on behind the scenes of those things. So she will probably crash when we get home and I'll get bored.

Last night's club ride? Oh yeah baby it was wicked! Hot, tired, competitive. I parked over by the dog park and rode to the ride. I passed the Arkansas Game and Fish officers doing diver training in the river. There's was a wonderful tail wind pushing me along as I enjoyed a summer afternoon. I had a thought as I was riding and it took me back to my youth when I would ride down Salt Creek road to my friend’s house and then we would ride forever. Sometimes we'd be a ways from the house as the sun set on those summer afternoons but we always made it home. The thought goes hand in hand with what I was doing at the moment. I was riding to meet my friends and we would ride until the sun went down or got bored or got into some sort of trouble. I got to Cook's Landing where 18 others were getting ready to ride.

Off we go in a social mode. Slow and chatty. This is the part of riding that I am more nervous about than any other. The social riding. The wind blows in my hearing aid and it's deafening. Sort of like riding a jet at take off. So I turn it all the way down and that makes it where I don't hear much at all. I get my new hearing aid in about 2-3 weeks and it has a wind sock feature I can use.

Anyway... back to the ride... we keep the pace as one of the slowest I can remember us riding until we got past the Game and Fish training area. Kick it in time! We moved along at a new pace and some split off for the road version of the climb and others stayed on the trail version and merged back together again at the top. Yes, us trail version riders wanted to beat the road version riders but it's all about the same.

On out and heading toward Ft Roots. I pushed upward wanting to be one of the top climbers and think I ended up about 6th. Everyone climbs it at their own pace but still there is a sense of competition among us. We're always pushing each other to try a little harder. So I end up between the first group and the second and I can hear some folks talking behind me then all the sudden they were in front of me! It was Rebecca "I just started riding 4 months ago" Irons (Well, she's almost an Irons; give her a few more weeks!). Rebecca gets this what I call New Age higher plains Zen voodoo mojo hooky-pooky strength that just floors me. I 'm serious now. She comes from out of nowhere and just eats your grits leaving you with nothing but a dumb look on your face. We all make it to the top and feeling dandy! Still have 3 more climbs to do for the night.

All head down and I'm behind Robb and Mathew. They are going way too slow for them. Then I realized Matthew pointing at something on Chris S's bike (a Specialized) and realized that Robb was talking shop. Robb works for Arkansas Bike and Fitness where I bought my bike. I know what you're thinking, "So Geo, why no link on your main page for that bike shop?" Because they haven't updated their site in 2 years at least. Maybe Robb will talk 'em into an update. Don't get me wrong, it's a great shop.

Anyway back to the ride... again... So I pull on around and we all ride down to the turn around called the "crack house loop" because of the rehab center right there. OK, Chris S up front, Tight your shorts baby cakes and watch his neck. If he stretches the muscles in his neck then it's a dead give away that he's gonna dance the pedals. I somehow once again end up between the two groups and Jenn S and I are riding along trying to catch the front group. Then it's like someone tossed us like a hand full of gravel. At the turn onto Ft Roots drive, there was a car at the corner coming out, a small group of cyclist stopped and a couple of slower cyclist right in front of the turn off. Crap! I had to go straight on, slow down and circle back. I was planning to get close to being a front group climber.

We climbed at a new steady pace and Jenn S and I ended up climbing together. I swear we end up riding the same more than I do with anyone else in the group. Almost at the top she pulls over and yells, "Great climb guys!" Always a cheerleader. The rest of the group comes on up to the top and we then head back down and to Cook's. After a few minutes there some opt to call it a day and others gear up for part two. We repeat what we just finished. Riding along and everyone with us is riding strong even though they, like myself, have these funny looks on their faces. Riding along the river, it really just doesn't get much better!

We get close to turning up Ft Roots again and Robb had jumped to the front. Someone wanted to go straight. Robb doesn't shy away from climbs and he turns, Patrick turns, I turn and Rebecca (Zen climbing hot shot) turns. We get to the top and Robb says, "Now that feels good!" I agreed with him. When I've done repeats, which I enjoy doing when riding solo, my third climb is my best. My first climb always has to do with controlling my breathing which I have a lot of work to do. My second is usually finding the groove. My third I can keep a steady pace.

So the 4 of us head down and along the river to Gators. The others have already come and gone. We stop a moment under the bridge and then head back. Robb and Patrick are moving along at about 22-24 while Rebecca and I are a little bit back but with a steady 20-21. I yell back and ask if we are climbing again and she said "NO!” I think if there was ever one time this season I would have a chance to beat her up the hill it would have been then but didn't happen. We grouped back up with Patrick and Robb and ride on in. I dropped off at my car and bidded them farewell.

The sun was setting and momma would be calling me in...

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