Now, I totally realize that we’re supposed to be riding for the “fun of it” and that none of us NiteDawgs are paid racers. And, for that matter, with the exception of NickDawg, will probably ever race….so our regular weekly rides are supposed to be fun right? That’s why we do it…isn’t it?
Well, yes…and no….
I don’t know if it’s been the weather being cold, or the fact that it gets dark so early or what, but while I always look forward to the weekly ride, I wouldn’t say the riding has been “fun”.
Has it been a good workout? Absolutely! Has ripping down the trail trying to see with just my headlamp been an adventure? You bet! Has it been fun hanging out with everyone that I ride with? Definitely! But I wouldn’t say the riding has been really fun…..
Well, last Thursday night was different. I think between the nice weather, having daylight for the entire ride and just not totally suffering on every climb, the whole tone of the ride was more “fun”.
The climb up Brandon was as long and as un-fun as usual, but the nice weather made it more enjoyable. I got a jump start on the group as we came through the gates at the bottom and set a pace that I hoped would keep me in front…..wrong….the entire way up I was looking over my shoulder and sure enough, not too far past the second bench I turned around and saw Paul make the turn…..I had hoped that by cheating I would somehow be able to beat him to the top of the climb, but it just wasn’t gonna happen…he passed me and motored on.
Later, after passing the paved portion of the golf cart trail we decided to go straight instead of the left turn back down to the lake. What a great little detour. You ride up along the ridge with a view of the entire west end of the lake. Note – it was here that I learned you should not get into a shoving contest with someone bigger and stronger than you are - as I attempted to lean into Tracy as we rode, forcing him off the trail and into the shrubbery, I was instead forced off and almost took out Jim as he tried to slip by on my left….note to self….pick on someone smaller next time.
Later as we hit the paved section back to the marina, Jim and I were racing up the last climb when Jack tried to pull the stealth attack. He worked up a head of steam and attempted to blow by us on the left shoulder…..little did he know, that Jim, being a devout Nascar fan, had seen this trick before and promptly put him into the wall (or curb in this case).
Jack, in an act driven by desperation, performed the nicest bit of riding I’ve seen and with tires scrubbing the curb for at least 10 feet, maintained his balance and although he failed at the pass, he did succeed in staying upright…..barely….
All of this fun was enhanced even more as we got back to the parking and Jim and Lynn pulled out Carne Asada for the bbq…..beer, bbq, friends and fun…..it just doesn’t get any better than that.