There is a saying that goes "there is plenty of time to sleep when you're dead" which is probably a paraphrase of Ben Franklin's quote but it leaves out a bit in the meaning. Ben originally said "A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave." Summer means bicycles, lots and lots of bicycles; even more so than the rest of the year even though the bicycle riding never really stops at any point in the year anymore thanks to Fat Bikes. I prefer Franklin's version because many people look at cycling as a leisure activity in the sense that it is done on your free time but it is on the opposite end of the spectrum from lazy activities such as being a couch potato that some consider being leisurely also. For sure there is a difference between riding a bicycle and surfing the couch and as hectic at the summer gets with all the rides, I'm not sure leisure is the best term for cycling either; it often becomes challenging to find enough hours in the week to do everything that needs to be done and still ride all of the great rides that are out there in the summer.
This week I dawned my leisure suit a few times. Wednesday found me in Lincoln for the Pub Pedalers ride with my bike brothers and sisters for the Oso Burrito ride. Unfortunately I only make about one or two of these a month so as to try to maintain a bike/work/life balance that works for everyone. Great rides and always an awesome time, if you're in Lincoln like them on Facebook and go. You won't be disappointed.
Thursday once again found me in Lincoln on the Thursday Night Haulin Balls Ride, which with my new job, is my version of the ThNNDRR except instead of starting at the normal time with the rest of the riders, Carlos and I start about 30-40 minutes after and attempt to chase them down. This wasn't really planned insomuch as it is the only option if I want to join in since I can't get to Cycle Works until 6 now but it's turning out to be great training and a great challenge since I don't normally push myself as hard as I have been on these rides trying to catch the group. This is a pretty quick pace and really only works because the usual ride is at a little slower pace and they stop occasionally for re-groups, if they didn't there would be no way to catch them given the time advantage. One thing this ride doesn't lend itself to is pictures as it really is all out until we catch them, the ice cream stop at the end was all I was able to get pictures of but it was delicious and well earned ice cream.
Saturday I only had to go halfway to Lincoln for the Wear Yellow Ride at the SAC museum, this is always a great ride and this year was no exception.
Love these guys and they are great riding buddies but I know when we all show up for a ride, be it a charity ride or not; it's going to be a fast one.
Ride was actually a little chilly at the beginning, especially in the shaded areas, but it didn't take us too long to get warmed up and we knew the wind and the sun were coming so the chill was only temporary. It'd be a warm, windy one by the time we were done so a little chill was nice to have in the early am.
As suspected it was a pretty quick pace heading out, it wasn't even until the third SAG that we even stopped to take advantage of the great hospitality of the volunteers and even then I think it was only because I made the comment we probably should stop at one of them since we did help pay for them.
In hindsight we probably picked the wrong one as there were no official port-a-potties at this one but The Pee Amigos improvised and managed to get the job done. This is when the expression don't pee into the wind comes in handy, it's also a good idea to either form an echelon or be the guy upwind from the others lest ye want to get a little moisture on ya. The winds were in full effect by this time and probably blowing a steady 20ish mph with occasional gust higher than that.
Took off out of the SAG stop and even latched on to the back of the Edge Therapy team for a bit forming a mini peleton of sorts. While it was nice to have the wind break, the three or four wide group caused a few traffic slow downs along the way so we just kind of slipped back after awhile to try to alleviate the congestion a little by reducing the numbers in the group.
Our second and only other stop was at Greenwood, this one was at my request. After turnin and burnin for 2 plus hours I needed something cold to drink. Even found a little puppy love while stopped there, these two dogs were super sweet; the white dog was definitely the attention hog of the two as he barely let you pet the other puppy before he would nudge your hand off of the brown dog and back onto him.
Hwy 6 between Greenwood and Ashland is my least favorite section on rides out of the SAC, be it the WYR or the Heatstroke 100. The Hwy has a nice wide shoulder but it's also well traveled so there is just a constant droning of traffic going by nonstop the entire time you're riding on it. About the only saving grace is that it's mostly flat so the speeds are up and the time on the road is lessened. No pictures on the Hwy for reasons mentioned above but we did make good time back to the SAC museum, great ride with awesome guys even if it was a 60 mile sprint.
As is always the case after the Wear Yellow Ride, the Pancake Man was there making pancakes. I even got to catch a few of them, I think they look for the fat kids because the know they don't drop a whole lot of food.
Back in the parking lot we hung around for a bit and had an adult soda courtesy of Todd, Moose Drool and Moose's Tooth... it's like it was fate. If you're in the market for a road bike by the way, give the Giant Defy a good hard look. I think there are three or four of them in our group and three of those were bought at retail if that tells you anything about how much we like the Defy. First true road bike I've probably ever owned as I was one of those people who had a cross bike and assumed it was "good enough". Let me tell you, after riding the Defy this year I can't tell you how wrong I was. While a light road bike won't make you a strong/fast rider, an improperly geared, heavier cross bike will make you a worse rider than you really are. My eyes are wide open this year as to how much just picking up a true road bike has changed my game from last year to this year. Stop in and take a look and take one for a spin next time you're near Cycle Works and you can see the difference for yourself.
After the ride I boogied home, showered and picked up the better half and headed back to Mahoney State Park. Roy, Carlos, Joe, Dave and their significant others were all camping and we were invited to join in on the festivities of Saturday afternoon and evening. Dave made some killer hamburgers for lunch, Stephanie and Roy brought some of the best potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans I've ever tasted for lunch. Then not be shown up Carlos cooked up the best chorizo and skirt steak quesadillas this side of the Rio Grande for dinner. They were so good that I ate some even though I was still mostly full from the burgers at lunch... so much food was consumed, it's probably a good thing there was an equal amount of riding this week also.
I have been truly blessed by the bicycle, great shop and team to ride for and I've made some of the best friends a guy could as for over the last 3 years; guys and gals I wouldn't have met if not for us all having the bicycle in common. Love all my Cycle Works, #SOVAG and SMNDFBR family, life is so much better with you all in it.