50 percent of my group ride wind-blocker (Adam) showed up Tuesday night so I was looking forward to doing little to no work, as usual. We made the “split” at the traffic light for the first time ever. Huzzah! As we rolled down 12th street, Bloggy chatted with a kind-hearted gentleman from a local accounting firm. His name and accounting firm slip my mind but his ethical repute was clearly visible from his smooth pedal stroke and would highly recommend his services. As usual, some riders shook the trees and some riders raked the leaves (to use my “Smokey and The Bandit” parlance). I was somewhere in the leaves group but Adam made an audacious move to bridge up to an advanced group. Nice work young man. As we cruised along, we heard an unsettling noise from Adam’s Ritte and pulled over. Nothing except for a misaligned brake. Huh. Dana (our new Supply Chain Analyst) and Kevin rode by and we formed a tidy group of approximately five riders. We chatted amicably until 302 and it was “hold on to your knickers granny” as Kevin put in a few heroic if not masochistic pulls into a mild crosswind. On the way back to the parking lot, I noticed Adam’s rear tire bulging but didn’t give it too much concern. At the finish, his rear was definitely soft and sure enough, flat by late evening. So it goes. How many more of these group rides until we’re done for the “season”?
The usual motley gaggle of randomly festooned cyclists. Only person looking is Adam. Mega-fresh Primal Wear Star Wars kit on the port side… The guy in the Cycle Center race team rides a 71cm frame. No joke! Played pro ball in Croatia.
Adam and some guy in a Barracuda Networks kit. Ah yes, I remember Barracuda. I told Adam “ATTACK HIM WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE! BURY HIM!!! Ride your bicycle quickly past him as well.”
Grinding up that weird climb. It’s not steep, not too long but it always sucks.
Guy in the back was on a hybrid (I think) with a disconnected rear v-brake. He told us he broke a spoke. His wheel was wobbling more than my well-worn copy of “Physical Graffiti” after I left it in my car last summer. He hammered away in spite of his mechanical and our collective hat was off to him.
This week’s edition of the Tri-City ride was its usual brisk paced affair. For this particular ride, Bloggy was without his wind buffers Josh and Adam, but I was on a bike with gears so I figured it’d be easy going. In addition, new overseas shipping guru Dana (I have no idea what her official title is but I know she keeps the container shipments well behaved) would be doing the ride so I figured I could ride along with her. As usual, I was late and when I kitted up, I didn’t see Dana anywhere. Oh well. The front end of the group made it through the traffic light as my half was left behind (as usual). The familiar game of 12th street catch-up would be in full effect. No Dana so I just kind of rode along. A guy in an Outspokin’ kit and a dude who I recognize from working at the post office flew past me so I jumped onto the back of their money train. We were drilling it and then the PO guy fell off so it was just me and Outspokin’. My irrational fear of being stuck riding with a serial killer started creeping up in my head but I kept it in check. With serial killer fears still lingering, I heard my name in the ether and realized we passed Dana. I slowed down to chat but Dana told me to go on, which sucked because I kinda wanted to chill out but instead I caught up to the Outspokin’ rider and we bridged back up to the main group. I was at the back and on the first incline, the lead group put in a dig that left four of us dangling. I thought “screw it” and just kept poking along as my three cohorts did yeoman’s work. When we got to 302 (I think, I still have no idea what roads are which on this loop), I figured I’d help out and did a few turns with an older gentleman in a Glory Cycles kit, a young college age looking kid who could use some bib shorts (Kickstarter anyone?) and some guy with aero bars. We were a motley crew to say the least. We swept up Mark and Vince near the airport and eventually made our way back to Platt Springs road for a spirited ride back to the parking lot. I thought I saw the drummer for My Morning Jacket astride a Pinarello but it was only Cycle Center manager Tipper chatting to fellow Cycle Center rider Ted (?). They looked approximately 70 percent less winded than me. Ah, to be young and properly hydrated. In addition to those chaps, Jittery Jed was spotted in what appeared to be a vintage University of Kansas kit, no doubt getting in some secret training for cross season. See you next Tuesday…
Group danglers desperately trying to claw their way back… TO OBLIVION! I’m pretty sure the flash went off so in addition to being the lazy jerk who wouldn’t pull, I was also the weirdo sex predator photographing men during a bike ride. I need to write a book: “Becoming A Pariah In 30 Seconds”
Speaking of pariahs, here are 3 of them astride lovely bits of carbon fiber. Left to right, Mark, Ted (?) and Tipper:
Once again I neglected to bring a geared bike and as usual, I paid a small price for it. Josh and Adam were in good form. Adam did the bulk of the pulling/wind buffering so let’s throw some domestique laurels on his head. We rode the shorter loop but ended up finishing with the longer loop riders due to an unscheduled train interruption. Lots of interesting graffiti and I assume a hobo skeleton or two hidden deep within the recesses of those rickety boxcars. “They ride the rails and consume their young…” Highlight of the ride was watching Joshie outsprint a father and son on a tandem. Intense. I’ll try and be more social next week to any riders who read this claptrap. Let’s have a chat about any topic, your choice! Might I suggest something controversial? The confederate flag? The federal debt? Whether or not the “Dark Tower” will ever be made into a movie? Whether Ron Howard’s recent involvement with the new Sarah Silverman sitcom means he has officially given up on making “Dark Tower”, thus snuffing out the hopes of millions of weird Stephen King fans everywhere?
We missed the first group roll out so we chilled with the “cool kids”. Good turnout. Guy directly in front was on a wacky purple/blue Klein. He gave me a throat slitting motion and then big-ringed it into that street sign 20 feet ahead.
Adam steels his soul for lung searing mayhem. Wish my point and shoot has steeled it’s freaking auto-focus instead of lapsing into “Camera Obscura” mode
We play the 12th Street game of “catch the group” after we were split yet again at another stoplight. Joshie is wearing the newly re-designed Cane Creek kit. Give them a call and order yours… TODAY!
The neverending chase. Adam is still on the front pegging it. One lonely rider ahead dangles like a (late edit). I seem to remember a chunk of rock being flung from Joshie’s rear wheel right as I was shooting this, nearly wrecking, unbeknownst to my riding partners. Dig that jazzy Cane Creek kit!
The aforementioned train. We sat and discussed our options. 1) Wait it out? 2) Ride down a frontage road? 3) Ritual seppuku? 4) Double back to the start? In the end, the train moved and I re-sheathed my pocket-sized Tanto blade. There would be no seppuku on this group ride (for now). We rode along and the group eventually caught up to us. This is where the inexplicable attacks started. One after the other, like lighting bugs flashing their mysterious glowing abdomens on a sultry August night, the dayglo yellows of baggy MS150 jerseys flashed within my peripheral vision. Tired of this onslaught of randomness, Joshie attacked a father and son on a tandem bike. As we scream past them, the child’s muffled sobs can be heard under his father’s last, dying breath. No, that is hyperbole, but if the father had been a consumptive factory worker from the 1890s and not a physically fit cyclist with access to modern health care, then he most certainly would’ve met his maker. I look forward to seeing this tandem next week and apologizing on behalf of Joshie and the company that was plastered alllllll over his kit!