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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nobody Will Play With Me!

Okay, it was very last minute that Jennichild sent the notice about my little Thursday evening alternative to the Lockton training ride that wasn't going to happen.

And besides the normal ride leader being out of town and the team captain backing out, I mapped out two possible routes, both of which are roughly 30 miles long. The 'long' route this group normally takes is 20 miles, so maybe I spooked some folks.

Maybe I should have mapped two routes, one of which was considerably shorter, offering a peel-off for people who wanted to do something besides ride their bicycle this evening.

I was pushing the clock getting to Porter Park myself, because when I stopped at a convenience store to fill my Camelbak, the Powerade (I'm sick of lemon-lime Gatorade) was out and I waited for the dude to change the syrup bag.

At 5:58, I roll into the parking lot and there are lots of cars. There was an old, beat up Toyota pickup with a shell, but, alas, it wasn't Roj's.

I'd tried Roj's number (a Skype line, not a cell; even my Mom who won't buy a computer has a cell phone, but not Roj), and it went to the machine. So I thought maybe he's on his way and running behind.

Like I say there were lots of cars there, and after I sorted out who all came to ride with me from people who were just using Porter Park, we riders posed for a group photo.

I wasn't sure we'd be able to get everyone in frame, but we managed.

Anyway, 'we' went pretty much the long route I'd mapped out, though I did loop through the Blue Moose parking lot to see if Roj was there. My reasoning was, if he was running late and assumed we'd left without him, he might have decided to head to the Moose where the ride wasn't supposed to start until 6:30.

Oh, and we kinda messed up in Roeland Park and took an unintended but short detour involving 48th street and the stupid, loop-the-loop logic of suburban street layouts.

Coming south on Lamar, I met Lawn Chair Larry and a beautiful woman I think is his girlfriend. Or maybe she's Mrs. Lawn Chair Larry, though she doesn't ride a recumbent. He asked where my 'buddy' was, and I said I was stood up. And then that I was the whole group that showed up for the Lockton Thursday night training ride.

'You getting ready for Ragbrai?' And I explained that no, Lockton is a Bike MS team, but as a matter of fact, Roj, freak that he is, is actually doing Ragbrai on his Mongoose BMX.

Which gets to why I'd wait 20 minutes for Roj to show: he's fun to ride with. Like Tuesday when we stopped at the park by the Leawood pool so he could get water since he was riding with a pitiful little squirt bottle he'd drained miles back. Four teenage girls were walking past him when I look up and see him pulling up the leg of his shorts to pour water down his leg. He was (or pretended convincingly to be) oblivious to their stares as he continued this bird bath routine until he was soaked on all sides, and had drunk his fill and refilled his bottle.

You can't buy entertainment like seeing Leawood teenage girls try to process a scene like that without losing their cool.

I more or less kept pace with Lawn Chair from Martway to 79th, which is were the paths divided: they went on to finish the Blue Moose ride, I went south to Town Center and then further south, to a hundred-and-thirty-something-th before coming back north.

Y'all missed out on a killer ride. The weather was absolutely perfect, not windy (so no obnoxious headwinds for the first time I can recall in awhile), not hot (86ºF when I took off, falling to 79ºF when I got back to my car), and the sun hadn't even sunk below the horizon when I got back (even with waiting for Roj and stopping to chat with a rentacop in Roeland Park).

The RP rentacop, I have an old friend who is a proper cop there in Roeland Park, and whenever I ride through that fair city I wonder if I'll run into him. As I rode past this security guy talking to someone, I thought I heard my name, and turned and thought, no, that's not Randy. But my stopping and turning had gotten his attention, and a brief conversation ensued.

I finished strong, too. In fact, I made the whole ride without using my Granny Gear (I know, I'm a Granny Gear Artist, but I have aspirations). Most of the ride without shifting out of my big front sprocket, in fact. And that final climb up Belinder from Somerset didn't' seem as long or as steep as I remembered. Which means I'm in better shape here before the end of June, as far as finishing Bike MS, than I was when Bike MS rolled around last September.

Sponsor me, by the way.

Anyway, ended up 31.5 miles, average speed 13 mph.

1 comment:

R.D. said...

Mybad, I should have called. It sounded like a great ride; next week for sure. I almost went but I decided to work on getting that rear derailleur set up - almost done ^_^