Bart treated the Maple Wheelers to a ride out of Tecumseh last night, and 14 people turned out. At this rate, it won’t be long before we’ll need a police escort, or at least a team car. I have got to bring my camera next time.
About seven or eight miles in, we stopped at a small general store in Macon for a breather and to allow time for the group to reassemble. There we made a fascinating discovery. Jason had a flat tire. No, wait, that wasn’t the fascinating part. The fascinating part is that it took no less than five of us to change it. Hooray team effort. What a crew we are. And while others milled about and enjoyed the show, Dave, misunderstood, thought someone said “Fat Tire,” and sneaked inside for a cold one when no one was looking.
Back on our respective saddles, some feeling more refreshed than others (a-hem), we made our way round about heaven-knows-where, and had ourselves a spectacular ride — beautiful views, terrific roads, the works.
At one point, we made our way through Clinton. Prior to the ride, Dave and I had been sharing fond memories of occasions when we had heard hackneyed and woefully unoriginal taunts like “Go Peewee” and “Go Lance” voiced in our general direction. Sure enough, spinning through town, we caught the eye of two stellar young dolts who promptly hurled their unimaginative ripostes toward us while tittering like Beavis and Butthead. But since there was such a large group of us, and we all look like weirdos, they targeted Dave alone. So, not only do we have here another fine example of why group rides are great (the weirdness of weirdos en masse is diffused over the lot of them), but also a clear sign that balance had been quickly restored to the universe (Dave never should have thought he’d get away with sneaking that frosty barley pop).
Wrapping up, we made our way to the Tecumseh Frosty Boy where we were treated to some more sophomoric repartee to the tune of “Go bikers!” and something to the effect of “any of you guys ridin’ fixie?” Kids are so cute. But now here’s the thing that really left me feeling like I had sand in my chamois. The Frosty Boy folks insisted that I give them a quarter to refill my water bottle (unless I was buying something else of course). Can you believe it? Is this good business sense when 14 cyclists just rolled up to patronize your establishment? So the way I figure it, either the counter girl is being paid roughly thirty bucks an hour (minus the shop-owner’s take), because it took her less than a minute to fill the bottle, or else Tecumseh taps are tied directly into the Poland Spring itself.
Over the last couple of weeks, as the group has grown in size, the pace has increased. Last night, we got a lot more spread out than usual. I hope the faster riders didn’t feel like they were being held back, and I hope the slower riders didn’t feel rushed or like they were being dropped. I don’t recall seeing anyone riding solo (unless they were doing so by choice), and that seems to me the most important thing. Groups evolve, and group dynamics are always complicated, but the bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter how things go so long as everyone is cool with it and having a good time.
Monday’s ride is out of Morenci. I won’t be there, but I hope you will. Wednesday’s ride will roll out of Deerfield, and I fully intend to make that one.
Dave just sent me some pictures from last night’s ride that he snapped with his phone. Thanks, Dave! Pity I already said all those bad things about him. Enjoy.