Yesterday I finally got to ride my bike!! The Usual Suspects Ride! The weather here hasn't been too conducive for riding. On Tuesday it rained all day - the weather was supposed to clear up and stop raining early Wednesday morning, it did, but not until around 8:00am. People were bailing on the ride, one suggested an afternoon ride - no good for me, I had to be at work at 2:00pm. I was disappointed. Then, Harvey, "Our Fearless Leader" called and suggested a 9:30am start! Whoo Hoo!!
Harvey was already at the bike shop when I got there. Thankfully he loaned me a fleece ear band, it was colder out than I thought it was and my ears were freezing. Bruce, a.k.a. "Turtle Boy" was on his way. This was the nickname I gave Bruce, not because of how he rides but because he is on Sunset Beach Turtle Watch Program during the months when the Sea Turtles lay their eggs at Sunset Beach (I call it Turtle Patrol). He and other dedicated souls patrol the beach every morning looking for turtle tracks and new nests so that they can be marked or even relocated if necessary. If they find one, then they "adopt" the nest and sit with it every night until the eggs hatch. That is true dedication!
Steve, who is better known to me as "Bike Shop Boy" (he owns the bike shop Island Hoppers, where we meet for the rides) wasn't going to ride, but Harvey saw him out on an early bike delivery while on his way to the bike shop. Called him on his cell and made plans for us to ride by his house and pick him up for the ride.
Immediately upon starting out on the ride I realized that this was going to be a pretty gross ride. The roads were still really wet from the rain, puddles here and there. Rooster tails of muddy spray coming from the tire in front of you was the norm for the day. I felt like the character from Put Me In The Zoo! Does anyone else remember this book? I was covered in spots! Mostly it got on my clothes, but on occasion on the face. Nice.
We rode over the Sunset Beach Bridge and back and forth on the island and the roads there were muddy from so much run off where there isn't any grass. Which is most all of the houses on the island. In some sections of the road there were actually more puddles than road. We looked like a bunch of skunks with dirty sandy streaks up our backs. My poor bike was covered in dirt and sand. I had to hurry to get to work so all it got was a good rinse - I need to give it a thorough cleaning very soon.
Turtle Boy hit one puddle with a hole hidden by the water and must have got a slow leak in his front tire. Bike Shop Boy had turned back towards home a little while before to get ready to open his shop. We were close to the end of the ride and I looked back and Harvey was the only one there. But no Turtle Boy, we waited a bit and then turned back to find him changing a flat. It was too bad that Bike Shop Boy wasn't there because he would have had the flat changed in just a minute or two!
We didn't ride super hard - just a good, even conversational pace. The kind of ride you should be doing in the off season in the middle of the week. It was nice to enjoy the morning with my cycling friends.