Last Saturday I decided to resurrect something that used to be a staple for Team Boris, the early morning start. I am talking really early here. There was a time when this was our regular early morning ride routine. I would start at 5AM from the temple and ride west to Winter Garden station and meet with Arnie at 6AM. From there we would ride back to the temple and pick up whoever was putting in at 7AM. This was usually Bill and Kathy then we would all ride back to Winter Garden and meet the rest of the gang at the shop for an 8AM start. By the time we got the whole shootin match on the road we had 16-24 miles done. So this Saturday I started t 5AM and rode to the lake and then back to Winter Garden for the start of the ride.
My roll from the temple offers me meditation time. The hypnotic whirr of rubber on asphalt never fails to transport me to another plane. I was happily pedaling/meditating and transcending when one of my favorite things to have happen on the trail happened, bunnies. They were everywhere, bunnies to the left of me, bunnies to the right of me, bunnies in front of me and bunnies behind me. They were all lining up to say good morning to me and wish me happy pedaling.Yup, me, the bike, the dark, the whirr and the bunnies….. heaven.
I made short work of the temple to WG leg and headed out towards Killarney. This was all new to me. I had never ridden west of WG this early in the morning and knowing how things are different in the dark I was looking forward to the adventure and the trail would not disappoint. I was doing my best to shake off the morning chill and working through my plans for my repeats to accomplish my 100 miles. Happy, pedaling and cold I rolled into Oakland when I had a vision. There in the middle of the trail just at the edge of my lights illuminating arch was “King Bunny.” I only spied him for a moment but he was magnificent, probably 12″-16″ tall standing on his hind legs. He was turned facing me and after the split second our eyes met he was gone. Poof, vanished. Did he hop or bound off or simply dematerialize? I don’t know, do not much care, that moment will exist forever. I did wonder if it was “King Bunny” or a baby kangaroo that escaped from the game preserve?
King bunny moment behind me and I quickly rolled past Killarney station. I started to watch the clock knowing I would need an hour or so to get back to the shop. I crossed Hancock road at about 6:30 and figured I would ride till 6:50 then turn back. At 6:50 I reached the edge of the lake
On the way back in I was making really good time. I knew Randy and Patty would be west bound between 7:30 and 8 so I kept a lookout for them. Past Oakland and entering the last leg I saw the familiar faces of our hill climbers and with them was Christine off for an early morning hill climbing adventure.
Back at the shop I hooked up with Bill, Karen and Meisha. Bill let us know that Stephanie would be joining us at Killarney so we wheeled up and took off. Meisha let me know that her formerly borrowed bike was now “her” after being gifted by her friends. She also spilled the beans that she has lost about 75 pounds over the last year. Way to go Meisha. Stephanie did hook up with us at Killarney rounding out the numbers of our happy little group to 5..perfect.
A trip to the lake was agreed on and I floated the “let’s turn left on Hancock and ride to the hospital” balloon. At first I thought we might all actually do this. Karen did have a swimming workout to do so time was a factor for her. We rode directly to the lake and SAGed there at the train station. I assessed nutrition and hydration and discovered Meisha was far behind the 8-ball and was beginning to flirt with bonkulation. We offered up food and electrolyte replacement that she balked at. No problem I would just keep a close eye on her during the trip in. In short order we were WG bound. The hills and their repeating pattern was starting to tax Meisha but she is crazy tough and slogged out each and every one of them. The group let me know there was no desire to head to the hospital on this ride. No matter because I had one more to the lake repeat and I would just do it then. At Killarney we stopped and this time Meisha took a little advise and started to take in some additional nutrition and by this time she was full on-board with Skratch in her water bottles (I love this stuff). While we refueled Meisha Karen took off for a brick knowing we would be ready to leave in about 15 minutes. She returned, Meisha blossomed again and we were off. In WG we dropped into the shop to have a moan and a groan on Meisha’s bike looked at. I floated the breakfast balloon and in no time we were at the French café. We had about an hour before her bike would be ready so the timing was perfect. Bill followed us by a few minutes and let us know he ran into Team Worcester and they would be coming over also.
John, Nikki, Nat, Lily and Leslie (John’s dad visiting from England) came in and took up at a long table near ours. We wrapped up our eats visited with our teammates and then made our way to the bike shop to get Meisha’s bike and finish this ride. By this point I was almost 70 miles into the ride and I was feeling great. It was turning out to be the easiest century I had every done.
Meisha decided to hang with me and do another trip to the lake, she even agreed to ride out the hospital. I told her I had to go because I promised Arnie a picture that day from Arnie’s overlook. I got that picture with Meisha standing there on the phone. She was calling 911 looking for an escape from the madness of hill climbing. No such luck she had to stick it out. And she did….very well.
At the hospital she ducked into the ER for oxygen and EKG and a bedpan. All needs met and a “you aint gonna die” from the doc and we were lake bound. It was a fun twisty and bouncy ride to the lake. Once there she was thanking me for encouraging her to eat with a little extra robustness, ensuring her that her body needed the fuel. We had a long talk about exercise, diet, nutrition and bike eating.
The ride back to WG was a nice noodle pace allowing Meisha to finish up and not beg off the bike forever. I dropped her off at the shop and made my way back to the temple giving me 104 miles for the day. It was the easiest century I had ever done.
Sunday found me doing a bit of dermal recovery and a gym workout before heading down to Team Boris Racing’s HQ (John’s House) for a little get-together. New and familiar faces popped in and a plan was hatched for the Christmas ride. We had a great visit and I eventually had to make my way home and cancel all of the cat toys the little maniacs tend to order from Amazon when left alone for too long.
Saturday (4/6)This was a wild start to the weekend. First I had no sleep all day Friday and by the time I did lay down I had been awake for 31 hours. I was able to knock down about 7 hours before getting up. I knew all plans for an early start were shot but I was happy to be up and at-em by 8. Kathy and I rode in together and eventually made our way around the barricades to the shop. John was saddled up and defying doctors orders was going to be out for a quick spin before getting back to anchor and guide Nat and Lily’s racing efforts. We had planned to coordinate the ride in order to get back and cheer Lily on at 10 AM.
It was great to see some old friends come back out to ride. I saw Randol who was doing the 60 mile bike fest ride, always great to see him. Riley and Alona headed out at the front of the pack with John and Bill. Diniz, Hugo and Paul were there and Diniz was planning on joining us for the early ride. Hugo and Paul rode out with us for a few miles to warm up then went back to join the 30 mile bike fest ride. Karen and Cisco rolled out with Kathy. Diniz and I bumped along at a nice little pace (16-20mph) in order to get some mileage in before we turned back and also to try and catch the rest of the group. Halfway up Michael’s SAG hill we ran into Kathy, Karen and Cisco riding back in. It was the right time to turn around to get back for the race so I headed back with them. Diniz pushed on and was going to look for Bill to ride back with. Turns out he went all the way out without riding back with Bill.
We did a quick pit-stop at Killarney and then pedaled on. Karen was signed up to volunteer at 11:00 (great job Karen).
We stopped at the courthouse on the way back to dot any registration “I’s”. It was there we ran into Russ and Karen manning the registration table. I had a great ride on the SWT with Russ and Karen a few weeks ago as they got ready for the TdC. I always love getting a chance to spin pedals with folks who I have not had the chance to ride with in awhile. We rode with Russ on his first TdC and he did great then and has continued to get stronger and stronger. Karen has always been a great cyclist so it was just pure joy to ride with these two friends of Team Boris.
John had the Team Boris tent set up in front of JoJo’s yogurt at the opposite end of the block from WGWW (great spot). Kathy, Cisco, Karen and I stopped at the tent and I introduced everybody to as many other everybody’s that I knew and hopefully I was effective at letting Karen and Cisco know/feel they are part of this whole big Team Boris family. After a bit Cisco bid us adieu and Karen toddled off to the shop for her volunteer assighnment.
It was only a few minutes until Bill showed up across the road and shouted hi. Hey, folks were back to cheer Lily on. John was busy getting things perfect for Lily and Nikki gave us a rundown of how she runs a “race day” tent…very impressive.
Their Off. Race starts and we watch the field stretch out and figure where Lily will be in the order of things. Now, the race she was in was a mixed class race so in her field was Jacob and it was great to be able to cheer for both Lily and Jacob in the same race. As they would pass John would teach me what was going on and what his expierenced eyes were seeing that I wasn’t. Everyday is a school day for me. He pointed out that Jacob had paired up with another rider and they were working together. As Lily ticked down laps John was able to point things out about parts of the race that we could not see just based on what he was observing Lily doing, very cool.
The race ended, everyone finished safely and we congratulated Lily and Jacob as soon as they made their way to the tent. This was crazy exciting to watch.
By this time Bill had made his way to the tent and we decided to hunt down lunch at the farmers market. Back at city hall they had a bike valet so we dropped our bikes there and walked back to the farmers market. Korean was the fare du jour. We sat next to the fountains ate, and just people watched. Mark and Jordan came strolling up and we got up to visit with the wonderfully pregnant mommy and daddy to be. All is going well and things are planned for an August arrival of a little boy (Boris sounds like a great name)…just sayin.
It came time to leave and get Kathy home. I planned to come back for Nat’s 3:45 Cat 4 race so it was home and shower because after that it is dinner with Arnie..WooHoo.
Made it back for Nat’s race and it was crazy exciting. He led the entire peloton on a few laps and then we watched as he swapped positions back and forth lap after lap till he final finished in 5th place…great and amazing. Nat has to ride with junior gearing so he has to work harder than riders who are not restricted like that. John was the consumate proud dad and Nikki watched/didn’t watch in fear. She said these races scare her. Being a mom.
That night Kathy and I were out to dinner with Arnie and Melanie at none other than Team Boris’s official italiann restaurant; Stefano’s. It was a great night getting caught up with everybody. With kathy’s travel schedule and Arnie’s treatment schedule it seems that the planets do not align often enough to allow us to get together which kinda sucks presta valves a lot because I love spending time with Arnie and Melanie. We got caught up on as much as possible and I always make sure that when I am out with these guys I eat dessert. Life has sweet moments that warrent celebration and spending time with Arnie and Melanie is one of those sweet moments.
First and foremost Fred Rocks. I mean Fred the weather rock..ROCKS. He conjured up a magnificent day for riding. It was a core founders ride for the team. Me Kathy and Bill. Kathy is starting to feel a bit more comfortable on the bike and is wanting to stretch her legs a bit so she opted for the 30 mile loop. The 30 mile loop is created by adding in the horse farm loop at the top of the Seminole Wekiva trail. The route is on the road but the the traffic is minnimal and the views of the horse farms are just amazing. We toddled along and watched as horses pranced and danced around in their pastures (one was wearing clothes, no lie). It has been a long time since we did this extra little bit and it really brightens up the ride, missed it, will do it more.
After a SAGulation stop at the trail end horse park where we turned wheels south and pedaled home.
Every Team Boris ride takes on it’s own personality and energy depending on the mix of riders. This is one of the things I love about our little group. One morning we will have Mary drop in from the coast and Stephanie hook up with us at Killarney. Another will see Randol dropping in for the festival ride and it is always wonderful to see new folks to the group find a groove like Cisco and Karen. There has been a big push for familiar faces to start showing back up, like Diana and Connie at the “Ladies Ride.” Our team has a very dynamic and organic nature. No dues, few rules, lots of support and positive energy. when all of that gets mixed up in the big mixing bowl of life with a few “special” ingrediants tossed in (like the colonials secret recipe) what comes out is something far greater than the sum of it’s parts. Team Boris…….
No proof read. I am going to let the words fall where they may. One of the things that brought a lot to the group in the early years was a weekly ride wrap-up (The Coconut Telegraph). And I admit with all of the new ways the group communicates I have been lazy about getting this out weekly but I am going to make a concerted effort to do better and get these sent and posted to TeamBorisCycling.com along with some other cerebral dribble…Enjoy…if you want to
Peace and Bikes
Steve & Boris