Ya know, I thought last week’s ride was a nice reprieve from the rain we’ve been having. But, somehow this weeks ride was even better.
I rolled up in front of the Flying Goat from the south just as Matt was heading in from the north and Susan was heading in from the east. At least that’s what it looked like from my perspective. We all triangulated upon the same place at more or less the same time. I liked that I wasn’t the last guy for once. The J-crew (John, Jon and JoAnn) were already inside, getting their coffee going. Jeff was the last of this alliterative force to arrive.
A notable absence this week was our Bistro bud, Brian. As this Monday was after all a holiday, his kids had their leave from school, leaving Brian with daddy duty. We’ll catch ya next week, my friend!
Though not at all wet, it was in fact a rather cold morning. And so, we spent a few extra minutes inside the soothing warmth of the cafe, delaying our departure into the chill. Once we were properly warmed and caffeinated, it was out onto the bikes.
John and I took the first turn at the front. He and I settled into a very steady pace, letting the rest of the group follow comfortably. It was the perfect tempo, allowing for the feeling of speed, yet comfortable conversation. It was good to see John back in town after his month or so away. He and his wife Chris, as I had mentioned in an earlier post, had spent several weeks helping to rebuild earthquake ravaged homes in Sumatra. He was riding well, especially for a guy who had been off the bike for a month.
As we got to the end of the paved path, I wasn’t sure if people were going to want to ride over the potentially muddy sections that the dirt path would surely offer. It was great to hear a bit of a chant coming from the back, “dirt, dirt, dirt.” How cool is that! And I wasn’t about to deny this rolling charge. If it’s dirt they want… Well, sadly the dirt doesn’t go on forever.
The next few miles covered very familiar territory. Willowside to Piner to Olivet, then West Olivet wiggling our way over to River Road. Even with the little rollers, the group stayed together riding a very sensible steady tempo. Eventually, we were heading north on Eastside Rd. Things broke up a little here, but impressively, we were able to exercise advanced riding skills to get everything back together into one cohesive group.
From there, it was up to Limerick Lane and over the freeway. Then it was south on the frontage road, left on Arata, then over to Faught Rd and back on Old Redwood.
I am fairly certain that our speed never deviated from our very steady average. There was virtually no half-wheeling or any of the antics that oft detracts from an otherwise perfect ride. With no detraction, what does that leave. Perfection. A good group, rolling a steady tempo through what has to be the most beautiful place on the planet. It was a great way to start the week!