Sunday, January 23, 2005

Makes Me Stranger

Yesterday I experienced a brief shock. I arrived late for the 0715 Saturday ride. No big deal since my late arrival routine includes parking somewhere along the course and riding backwards until I run into the group. I parked the car near the eastern foot of the Lesner Bridge and rode backwards, knowing that I would catch the group at any moment. Well, I never saw anyone—Shore, Independence, Thalia. Had I slept clean through till Sunday morning? It was unsettling to think no one would show up for the ride. This is the madness that happened no matter what. Two Decembers ago when the whole month had Saturdays in the low 20’s—at least a dozen still attended each week. I measure my own mental toughness and overall strangeness by the crazies who will show up for that ride. Could it be that I was the strangest of all? It was a balmy 30 degrees—it wasn’t yet snowing, raining, sleeting or anything. Had everyone softened? Did I need to measure me by me and isn’t that a bit scary?

By the time I made it to the start point, I was too late to catch the second ride which begins at 0830. I could have ventured back to my car at that point (especially since there was some precipitation starting) but I simply had to know if anyone had even showed up for the second ride. I rode down Laskin then started into Bay Colony. On the backside of the neighborhood I caught sight of Wild Bill, Tim, Bob and some guy who only comes out when it’s cold. We all agreed to do the third loop together even though we knew our time was limited before sleet. I heard from them that Pete, Sally and Tim had been there for the first ride but done a modified loop (different route) into Fort Story since so few showed. I wanted to lecture Tim about doing “modified loops” since there are always those who depend on the consistency so as to pick up the ride where it is convenient, but I was just glad to been drafting a wheel so I kept my mouth shut. I was sorry to have missed Sally who ran a 5k at Mt. Trashmore after the modified loop.

Sure enough, the sleet pounded us as we rotated down Shore Dr. It pelted my face and even found its way behind my big glasses so my eye lashes worked overtime to swat the ice. This is why I ride.

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