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Fantastic Friendly Friday

by on October 1, 2010

This Ride: 24.9 miles
Kona Distance: 3,844.9 miles
Month to date: 24.9 miles
2010 Total: 4,321.4 miles
Pace to 5,254.8 mile goal in 2010: (297 miles ahead of goal pace)

Welcome to October!  This should prove to be an epic month of riding.  I will ride in one large organized Century Ride, the Seagull Century in Salisbury, MD on October 9th.  I first set that goal when my longest ride was only about 35 miles and 100 miles seemed to be a nearly impossible distance.  There are probably 8,000 + riders for the Seagull Century.  At the end of October, I’ll ride the Ocean City 11 Ride (OC11) with the SPP.  It is a trip from Stevensville, MD to Ocean City, MD one day, and the return trip the next.  Round Trip could be anywhere between 225-250 miles.  In between will be regular riding.  I’m looking forward to the month.

I went to bed last night not sure I would ride the Friday Breakfast Ride.  We have had remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole dumping rain on our area, 10-12 inches in the last 24-36 hours.  The rain was forecast to continue this morning until about noon.  But at 5:00 am, the nearest rain was at least 30 miles away, and it was a small spot of showers.  Everything else was east of here moving north.  I pulled out the fenders and put them on, suited up for the 62 degree morning (with brisk breezes) and headed out full of optimism.

That optimism rapidly changed to caution.  I cut through the Cypress Creek Community as I often will do in order to get to the trail, and had to cross two short wooden bridges.  I hit the bridge at about 10 mph and before I knew what happened I was on the ground feeling my head/helmet hit the ground … hard.  The bridge was as slick as a sheet of ice.  Without the helmet I would have been knocked unconscious, I’m sure.  (No visible cracks in the helmet though.)  I got up, testing my limbs and hip, then walked the bike across the bridge.  It was so slick I had a hard time walking across.  I took it easy down the trail and eventually arrived at the Rusty Bridge just as the others were arriving.  By then, I was loosening up a bit, and ready to continue the ride.

There were 5 to start, and we picked up Chip on Jennings Road.  We had an easy pace this morning, the slowest since I’ve been riding with the group.  There was a good amount of debris on the trail.  In places, water was still running across the trail, and of course there were large puddles of standing water and residual mud everywhere.  The wet pavement didn’t reflect the lights back very well, so we took it easy.  Part of the discussion was about the incident on Wednesday, and I eventually learned more of the facts.  Suffice it to say that it was a complicated series of events leading to the confrontation.  It is easy to see the various sides.

The Hard Bean Cafe was open this morning.  Some food service businesses in Annapolis had to close because of flooding yesterday.  The four who rode into Annapolis for breakfast ate muffins and drank coffee until the mist started in.  Nina treated us well, and continues to be amazed that this group of Friday riders are so consistent, even with the uncertain weather.  I really do enjoy being a regular and recognized by the people who work there.  By the time we were leaving Annapolis, we were riding in a light rain that continued until we were close to where we picked up the trail.

We rode at a pace that enabled good conversation and allowed us to observe some storm damage near the south end of the trail.  A hillside gave way in one place, taking some of the barrier fence with it.  It had been marked off with reflective cones, and will take quite some effort to stabilize and repair.  Without repair, part of the trail will likely collapse into the ravine.

There was more encouragement for me to become a Randonneur (a group of long distance riders – their shortest group rides are 200k, that is about 125 miles).  I’m ready for those distances, I’m just not ready to have them consume all my weekends.

It was a very enjoyable morning.  It was the third wettest ride I’ve ridden, but you know, I didn’t really notice any discomfort.  We did get more courtesy from the drivers of cars this morning, I think because of these crazy bike riders caught in the rain … or maybe it was because we were lit up with flashing lights and reflective garb all over.  Sixty degrees and rain … not bad.

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