This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One Helluva Ride

   The morning of the ride, Jay and I drove from the campgrounds to Chelsea.  The logistics were a little tricky at first because he broke camp and intended to leave straight from the finish 10-15 miles from the camp where I would be staying.  "Ma Barker's boys"(aka RTool aond John) offered to hang out there and give me a ride when we finished.  We all wanted to get there for an early start, and met up with Jim from Boston  to try and start out together.  Ma's boys elected for the 39mile route and started separately.   Jim, Jay and myself all started together although we all intended to ride different routes.  Jim was prancing like a young pony, banging against the gate to go, he was going to do his first century of the year.  Jay was a bit more reticent and planned to "try" the 75 miler.  Me, hell after Thursdays ride, I would've done the whole thing from a tavern and been happy but was going for the metric century.  I usually sign up for a metric century since I don't plan to make work out of anything and I am comfortable with that type of distance on any day.
   Down the road apiece  I told the other two not to look for me if they dropped me.  They were both riding much lighter and faster bikes and the Hunq would definitely put me behind them after a few hills.  Jay was riding a new Cannondale Synapse and Jim his vintage RB-1.  At any rate it was neat to hook up with a group who didn't feel obligated to meet each other's riding abilities or expectations.  We all did what we were comfortable with and left the ego at the door, nice group of people.  It wasn't long before they had left me and I was riding along happily chatting with people who were riding a similar cadence.
         If you haven't been on this ride, it is one helluva ride and is realistic for people of all abilities.  There were no real challenging climbs, just gently rolling hills that keep you from getting too bored.  The crowd was huge, over 1800 from what I'm told.  The weather cooperated for the third day and gave us a perfect day for a ride.  I caught up with Jay at the first rest stop and he had decided to do the metric as well.  I, in the meantime, had decided to stop at lunch, which was right at the campground.  After lunch I could try out the 30 mile loop that started and ended there.  It made a little more sense than having "Ma's boy's" hang out and wait for me at the start.  It was Michigan and everybody was a little astounded at the weather, what are the odds of 3 perfect cycling days together in this state? A gazillion to one.  I ran into Blazing Pedals on his carbon recombent and he was geeked, he had hooked up with a group pulling a 30 mph paceline and hadn't had so much fun in years. The accommodations and food for the ride were great and after lunch I finished the 30 mile loop with a couple of younger (college age) riders who were just having a nice afternoon date.
    Back at the campsite we sat around and discussed the ride and what a pleasant experience it was.  We had managed to find one of the few campgrounds in Michigan which prohibits alcohol and that presented a mild speed bump.  As everybody knows, many of the worlds problems get solved sitting around campsites in the evening.  The imagination just seems to work more effectively if it is well lubricated and, not wanting to deny the world the value of our collective wisdom, we took a few risks usually reserved for college students (for the good of humanity mind you).  But at any rate, after a few hours of reviewing the cosmic situation and a break for dinner, I can safely say we had saved the world.  We straightened her rims, greased the bearings and set her spinning freely in the right direction before we stumbled off to our tents.

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