last wednesday evening ride of the season
But first we talk about Tuesday. I got out to the Rock and found Ainsley and Jim waiting. Right before we took off, Connie arrived and got set up. Jim took off while we gathered equipment and prepared. We lost a little time before we figured out that the guy who pulled up as we were about to head out was waiting for someone else. It was 6:15 by the time we started the climb up the hill.
Ainsley and I rode along at a moderate pace, chatting about bikes and bike parts and the madness that is fixed-gear and single-speed riding.
"You know, we're only about two cog teeth away from being the 'hey y'all, watch this!' school of cycling," I said.
"I think I'm ahead of you on that scale," Ainsley said. "I have ridden fixed on these trails."
Yes. Ainsley had out-hard-cored me. I settled all the way back on my saddle and ground up the hill.
We held up a couple of times to let Connie catch up to us. It wasn't the hills - bless her heart, she's riding with a derailleur in her drivetrain.
Down to Memorial Bridge and beyond we went, taking the next stretch all the way to the road before turning and heading back. We had 11.1 miles at the end of the ride, getting in right before darkness set in.
Wednesday I got off work and raced home, changed, and headed out aboard Belle for the fountain. I cut through the parking lot of what used to be Minton's Pharmacy, weaved around the barricade and cut through Main Street Methodist's parking lot to get over to Main, avoiding the massive construction at the intersection of Cambridge and Grace.
I had been shadowing another rider on my way downtown. It turned out to be Tommy Davis, who had also chosen to ride to the ride. Dewey was waiting for us, and Fred pulled up right as we prepared to leave. We decided to ride the shortened route in the interest of time, and set off down Edgefield, turned onto Mineral and headed for the trail.
The pace got a little brisk for me, but they slowed down a couple of times and I caught back up. It always takes me several miles to warm up, but it finally happened on the long climb up Scotch Cross. We started spreading out, and I leapfrogged around Dewey and caught up to Fred. He was surprised that it was me and not Dewey on his wheel.
We came in via 225, going all the way down to Alexander before coming back in past the hospital. Once more I rode past the door I went through on my way to bypass surgery a couple of years ago, and had time to ponder it. I had 22.25 miles for the the last Wednesday evening ride of the year.