With our problems worked out between dinner the evening before and breakfast, we prepped and rolled out at 8 a.m. to cool temps, clear skies, and a gentle breeze from the WNW…. It was going to be a full day of cross wind with a hint of “in yer face” to it.
Starting out, we seemed to have addressed the kinks from the day before properly. The wheel suckers still sucked wheel but they were fewer in number, so the front finally stabilized. People were pulling through, inferiority complexes were squelched – therefore, the explosive hill climbs ended, and with that, the rotation seemed work without too many hitches in the giddyup. Things went well for 60-ish miles.
Then the wheels fell off.
We had a tough crosswind and two new people to the group and neither would pull out in the lane like they should for others behind them to get a draft. No, they insisted on riding the left of the two lanes, but too far right, because that’s the way they like to ride (according to the first knucklehead). That fella we straightened out by letting him know he needed to move over verbally. When he refused, the guy in the right side of the pace line literally pushed him over into position by crowding his handlebar and elbow. He got the message and started riding a little more reasonably. I’ll never understand how people can be so selfish and think it’s okay.
The second was a little tougher. He was one of those “I’ve been riding my whole life” jackasses. Those guys are impossible to nudge gently, so he got it both barrels. I started, and there was a lot of cursing that I’ll skip for this page. Wait, if I eliminate all of the cursing, there won’t be any structure to the sentences because I laced into him with the f-word in all its diverse forms. The gist was, “I don’t care how you ride. If you’re going to ride with us, you’re going to ride how we ride. If you don’t like it, get off the back or go up the road off the front, but you won’t be riding like a knucklehead with our group.” Another in our regular group, Dave, lit him up right after me, and Dave dug in hard. If I heard correctly, he did stay with the group and straightened out (someone correct me if I’m wrong, please).
I think I was getting tired and cranky at this point. I lit into another guy who has ridden with our group for quite a while (and a lot longer than I’ve been with the group) but has recently taken to riding dangerously. He’s downright erratic, and no matter how good a guy he is, we’re all a little nervous around him. He was the next one to screw up, so I chewed him out… and that’s when I realized I was the problem. I was tired, hungry, a little dehydrated, and entirely over the edge angry because it was a bike ride, and it was feeling a lot like work.
I shut my mouth after that. And thankfully, at our last stop before town we decided to take the short 80-ish mile route over the hundred. I was amazed I didn’t go with the long group, but I had a feeling I was fairly cooked. I had a Coke at the stop, hit the porta-john, called Mrs. Bgddy to let her know we were cutting miles. My wife was a little bummed because she’d gotten set up a little late and didn’t know how many miles she’d have in when she met us, but I promised, if she didn’t have enough, I’d go back out with her until she did.
With the easier pace, I was a little more relaxed, and was able to just set in and do my thing. The last twenty-five miles (give or take, I’m not exactly sure) went off rather well. I felt a lot better by the time we approached Lake City, though I hadn’t seen my wife yet and was getting a little nervous. Mile 75 ticked by, then 80. Still no Mrs. Bgddy. We turned into the parking lot at 83.75 and there she was, waiting in the parking lot. Some of the gang headed straight for McDonald’s, but I rolled out with my wife for some bonus miles.
We rode side-by-side, virtually traffic-free for miles, just talking things over. and taking our sweet time. I was exceptionally smoked (the second day is always the toughest) so my wife said she was cool with just a relaxing ride through the countryside. It was wonderful. We went out till I was sure I had enough to get my century as I was started to get a little hazy and lightheaded. I fired down a Gu, and we turned around and headed back.
For the ride back, Mrs. Bgddy took the lead and pulled me all the way home – she’s awesome that way. We picked up a couple of guys we’d passed on the way out and I offered for them to hop on. She took me darn-near to the school and headed back out in search of our friends to help back. I made a bee-line for McDonald’s where I relaxed for quite a while with a Quarter-Pounder, some fries, and a Coke. I ended up with 102 miles for the day, but I was feeling hammered.
I was nervous for what lay ahead.
Stay tuned for Day Three; not exactly As the Crank Turns, but things right themselves in our world…