Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fast Club Ride

Cal--the Legend (also a Librarian like Yours)
The Club Rides, all levels, meet at Broken Arrow Park here in Lawrence, Kansas.  Rides are at 9 a.m.  now that its a bit cooler in the mornings.  That later hours means its warmer and I think it gives people the feeling they've gotten to sleep in a bit.  Since I'm one of those guys that gets everything ready the night before--I can sleep and kinda wake up as I'm riding to the Park.  Well let me tell you, Gentle Reader of This Blog, this was a fine morning for a ride indeed!
The fellow you see up there is Cal--Cal is the most respected rider out on the road.  For one, he is above all, the friendliest, most charming man you could ever met.  Also, I think he's pushing 60 years of age, still he is one of the fastest, toughest, smartest cyclist around.  Cal is a Legend.  I've been out riding by myself into the Wilds, and I've seen Cal and he waves!  He recognizes me and says Ahoy!  I interviewed for a job as a librarian at Washburn University (Topeka, KS) and after the interview, we realized that we had met each other on the road when I came out to visit Little Egypt before I moved to KS--we had a great laugh and he told me later he really wanted to hire me--but with all the librarians being men, well, they wanted the young woman librarian instead.  Whatever--he could have just been telling me to make me fell better--I might not have been as good a candidate as the woman.  What a great man--let me say Great Man, mes amis...

Fast Guys, old guys, and can afford expensive toys...
Our two groups took off and the fast guys zoomed out, but we were right with them.  Then for some reason we went a different route, and well, there I was up in this pack of really fast fellows (usually ride in fast group but they're riding with us today) and there I was riding with Cal up front and we were riding 23 mph!  Man, it was awesome--there I was with some of the regulars I ride with, and we're the second group (fast guys are the first) but there's some blokes pulling us along and we are spinning like fire!  Cal and I move up front and do our pull, and then when we drop back, I see that the group I usually ride with are about a mile behind us. 
What I've done is somehow jumped on with the pack of the Fast Guys who were running late and now trying to catch the main group. 
I must tell you that by the time we were about to Lone Star Lake, I could feel my left leg getting weak.  A cramp was coming down the road--but I did my best to stay on.  The pace had certainly picked up and now a couple of riders were bailing out and getting dropped by the pack.  I held on until the very last small steep hill that is the entrance to Lone Star Lake--I was outta gas...
So there I was at the rest stop with all the fast boys.  Mostly they are a mix of fast fix twenty-somethings--and then guys my age or older--oh yeah and the women are well represented too, mes amis!  I saw Rob and Tommy and Brenda and we were like, "Dang how did we get up in this?"  There was no way I was going back with the Fast Guys because I'd be left for dead on the road. 
When Brenda saw our group arrive at the other end of the lake, we took off to meet them and go back at a sane pace.  I was still kind of shaking from the bullet ride I was just on.  I still wanted to be able to walk the rest of the weekend too.
Brenda was up front and instead of stopping she shot down the hill to go back to Lawrence--Laurie followed her, and then some other woman from the fast group.  I went after them, mes amis and the rest followed--but by the time I caught the three girls we had dropped our group.  Instead of having a nice steady ride back, here I was ripping down the road back to Lawrence with three other very fast and strong riders.  We kept a tight four person pace line and things did not let up until the one Fast Girl pulled off to head home.  Brenda (age 54) still kept the pace fast.  Laurie pulled off for her house, so there I was with Brenda for the last few miles back to the park.  We rode side by side and chatted--but dang, that woman did not even slow the pace one bit! 

Arm warmers needed for the first time this Fall

Although my legs were shaky the rest of the weekend, I have to say that I feel I can ride with the Fast Guys one day.  The trick is to actually get out there and ride with 'em!  They can look intimidating but they are all good people and they welcome all newcomers.   Really the deal is that I'm not strong enough to ride with the Fast Guys in that first group--and the slower group is not that slow--but there is that big gap between the two sets of riders.  There's a handful of us that are somewhere in between--when the Forces that control the Universe place us all together--man it is the best ride to be on my friends!



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