Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pirates were everywhere!

I'm tellin' ya, it's a steeeeep hill!

Rebecca Mc telling Yale that she can't help it if he has to go so slow.

Some of our riders listening to the route directions

It was great to have Monty (Prez of BACA) back from CA to ride with us. Welcome home!

Matthew and Will. The zoom-zoom twins

I got a great surprise at the top of the hill. Some old buds, Paul Britt and Robb Carr where out riding and jumped in out group for a bit. I rode with them when we did the Across the State in a Day ride. This is Robb withthe Red/white jersey.

Rebecca and Chris Irons

John and one of our new riders. We keep getting these new riders that are fast!

Now that was fun! But getting there wasn't! I got off from work, and headed over to the ride. I needed some more ice for the drinks so I stopped at the store closest to the ride, ran in, paid for my ice, jumped in the car and rat-di-dat-de-dat. Dead battery???? I opened the hood to find the negative cable covered in corrosion covering the negative post. I ask a guy in a camo painted suburban if he could jump me (I have cables). Starts right up. I get on down the road and into the parking lot for the ride. Dump the ice in and start getting my bike out and ... flat tire... the rear one no less. So I spend some time getting that fixed and finish in plenty of time for the opening of the ride. I stuck the key in the car and it started right up so I do the treasure chest giveaway, listen to announcements and then off we go... Take The Hill! Nope, not so fast. Chain comes off. In trying to get ready so fast I forgot to check the chain. This just took a couple of moments and I was caught up to the team.
It's a large group and everyone is in really good spirits! Small pirate flags on folks bikes or helmets. Skull and cross bone tattoos on bare skin. Plastic parrots, eye patches, you name it. We kept the speed down and due to such a large group many folks stopped walking and watched us ride by. It seems to amaze them that there are so many road bikes with riders in colorful jerseys casually riding along chattering. None look upset in fact most are smiling. Some even wave.
Someone lost something small and silver and as it rolled into the weeds it looked like it had 2 AA batteries, a tail light maybe? I stopped to check and couldn't see it in the tall weeds so I jumped back on my bike and pedaled hard and caught back up with the group. I caught them just as the hill began to climb to the fort. Most were way ahead. Yale had a flat and was in the process of fixing it and Rebecca Mac was aiding him. We later saw him coming to the top as we were heading down. he fixed it pretty quick!
While we were at the top I noticed a couple of guys not a part of our crew and it was Rob Carr and Paul Britt, two guys I rode with last year on the ride across the state in one day. Both are great riders! It was good to see them and got them to get in our club photo at the top of Fort. Man, there were a lot of bikes!
We all headed down and around toward the crack house for a purchase of bike doping meds. you know all bikers use these now. EPO is our friend! At least that's what the officials in Spain think.
We head back up toward fort for the second climb and the youngsters along with Paul and Rob are buzzing along the road. Will and I ride together a bit and Will is a very strong rider and I was surprised to see him slacking at 20mph. He was saving it for the hill. Sure enough we start climbing the hill and within a few moments, zoooom, there he goes. I'm keeping it right about 10mph (the fast guys do this at 15 and up). All to the top and take a break. More photos and we try to get a guy standing in the doorway of the Ft Roots fitness center to come out and take the photo but he thought we were just waving so he waves back. Then he makes faces while Jenn Shaw is taking photos. Then he turns around and acts as though he's going to moon us but doesn't. He laughs and walks back away from the doors. They will miss us! We will miss them as they close the gates keeping everyone off the compound.
Back down we go and back to Cook's. Before the ride started I announced that if you get back fast then my car would be unlocked and there are ice chest full of water and gator. I said it loud enough for the whole parking lot to hear. Everyone was laughing and where I was leaving the keys. The fast folks did help themselves as I was hoping they would. Several a little shy about it so I grabbed the cooler and brought it out on the parking lot to the excited hoots and hollers! We had our fill of water and Gator and headed back out.
The last time at the top of fort was sort of bitter sweet and several rode the loop a few extra times since it was the last. It was beginning to get dark and we headed back to Cook's. I was sort of in the front group for a bit then dropped. Ironman came up behind me, passed and said come on! So I pushed harder and keep falling off. Just couldn't keep up with him moving along at 23. We finally got back together towards the end and smiled upon ending a good ride.
Back at the parking lot we had the rest of the bottled water and gator while folks put up their bikes and got ready to head home for a bite to eat. i loaded up and ... aww man... rat-de-dat-de-dat!! the battery again. I walked over to Yale and asked if he could give me a jump and as I turned around two fishermen that were parked next to me were already turned around and had pulled their van up to the car. We got it jumped. The kindness of strangers has been shown to me today. 2 times!
I got home had a chicken sandwich and fries from Wendy’s and crashed out cold around 11.
And a good time was had by all!

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