It was another early start for me. After consulting with Fred and staring skyward in the really early morning hours I figured out I should go ride bike. I texted Jim-Bob who the day before professed he was going to ride with me to the lake and back so he could be on his way home by 8. Well it seems the rain all settled over his house and scared him off. Actually he was sure it was going to rain byth elook of things in sky over his crib so he begged off. No prob, I had Fred on my side and off I went.
I could not help myself taking the picture below and texting it to Jim-Bob just to let him know how much better I had it than him. He unfortunately, was still stuck at home riding out the storm.
My usual twisty, bouncy jaunt was unfolding at a really nice rain dodging pace only something was a bit off. No BUNNIES..eeeekkkk. No bunnies I was riding bunniless and missed my furry bounding cheerleaders (it is hard enough to get up at 4AM). They did send out their brother armadillo and an Oh-A-Possum or two. I actually love them too they just don’t bounce. Feeling my despair the universe conjured up a couple of furry friends and dropped them to earth at token intervals just to keep my tears at bay. Winter Garden rolled up in no time and I was treated to a show of elves (not cobbling shoes).
My elves were putting together one of Winter Garden’s great little Saturday events. The kind that close the whole place down to everything except pedestrian traffic but also come complete with the sights and smells of a food carnival. This one seemed to be blossoming into a plant and flower show (yuck yuck).
I stopped to take the picture and send it off to what I assumed was my now water-logged friend in order to lift his rain drenched spirits. After hitting “send” on the text message with photo attached it was lake bound for me. For some silly reason my watch started running really fast and I thought I was running much shorter on time than I actually was. No bother, I would just ride till 6:50 and then turn back like I did the week before. That would have me at the shop by 7:50 to meet the group. I was pleasantly surprised when after a little light peeked over the horizon and I was able to see my Garmin I spied the time and saw that my watch was twenty minutes faster than I thought. This gave me time to make it to the pavilion and shoot one last picture for my friend who I was sure by this time, based on his updates was furiously blowing into the inflation port of his zodiac in order to keep it afloat (should I have abandoned the ride and raced to his aid…..?). Something odd at the lake..a bazillion dried up (dead?) hibernating? sleeping bugs of some sort piled all over the bathroom/water fountain building and under the street lights. Their lifeless corpses forming perfect circles in the glow cast by the light…weird…..More on this later.
Back at the shop by 7:55. Weaved my way through the now sunlit elves as the scurried about. The first hints of fair food wafted and I made plans to ride back through town later and eat my way from one end to the other (not really but it kept me motivated to ride 80 miles. Actually finished with a bowl of oatmeal).
Just when I thought it might be a solo ride day, Karen and Cisco rolled in from around the corner to join me. We waited about 10 minutes and then saddled up and headed west. Karen admitted she almost stayed in bed thinking that the deluge that was pummeling Jim-Bob was rapidly making it’s way to either her house or the trail or both but either way staying in bed was high on her option list. She battled through and now she and Cisco were turning pedals on what was about to become and epic ride for them…little did they know.
We wheeled up and rode towards Killarney, nice steady and comfortable pace, no heroics..yet. At Killarney I re-watered and dropped a Skratch into the bottle to keep me fueled. Despite the rain somewhere else it was hot and the sweating had begun. Our great friend Walt rolled up and I made all of the introductions. Walt is working on regaining fitness after some time off the bike to tend to his wife Karen who is wrestling with a couple of health issues. She is great and Walt is a wonderful support person and it was good to see him pedaling this morning. Conversation over and it was time for the real adventure to begin. Last time out, folks begged off hospital hill so Meisha and I did it by ourselves. Today I offered it up as an option and after some quick courage gathering glances back and forth Cisco and Karen gave the thumbs up for a short side trip to South Lake hospital (hospital hill). Off we rode.
We made short work of the roll out to Hancock and turned left. I offered up a quick turn into the neighborhood to spy Skyridge. There we were rolling around the base of the hill when I offered to ride to the topic anyone was interested. Low and behold Karen and Cisco were game for a ride to the top and in a moment we were off. I gave tips on shifting and pacing and together we climbed. At one point Karen caught the curb and in a moment she did an uphill restart from mid-hill (very tough). And as the picture shows we made it to the top of Skyridge, straight up, no bail out…..WooHoo. Karen did admit that she was having doubts about her ability to complete the climb but once she quieted her mind and let her body do what it was capable of it was game on, all the way to the top. We took the mandatory pictures and then headed down because we still had the hospital to ride to.
A nice steady climb out to the hospital a quick drink and we were lake bound. On the way to the lake we came across the 7:30 hill climbers, Randy, Patty and Stephanie. We stopped for introductions and got caught up on the coming and goings of Team Boris for this Saturday morning. That is one of the things that I love about Team Boris, we have pockets of activity developing around the base team, sort of like satellites around the mother ship…really cool. Hill climbers took off for the back route to the lake and we rode the trail there. At the lake we crashed a dedication ceremony going on at the train station and took up time and space on the picnic benches. Fed and watered and talked out, it was time to ride home. At some point between the lake and WG Karen let me know that this was the longest bike ride she or Cisco had ever done. On top of that it was the most climbing they both had ever done, a double epic ride…WooHoo.
Back in WG Cisco and Karen put their bikes up and headed off into the fray of the fair to seek food. I was headed to the shop to say howdy to the guys when I ran across Walt and Karen (different Karen, Walt’s wife). I was glad to have the chance to sit and jibber jabber with the two of them for a few minutes. We have plans for dinner one night as soon as schedules open up. We talked about diet, lifestyle and health seeking behaviors related to a health scare. Good stuff.
In a bit we said our good byes and after a quick howdy do in the shop I was east bound and ready to put this ride away, 80 miles…..done.
Zombie Bugs Of The Apocalypse..Part 1:
I am of the belief that the piles of dead (living dead) bugs were a harbinger of the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. This was not lost on Karen or Cisco when we arrived at the lake and I pointed out this creepy phenomena. Feeling a bit unsettled knowing we were being watched and more than likely sized up for coking times and seasoning preferences. I can see the epicurean un-dead slathering Cajun seasoning on me and dropping me in the “Human Fryer.” Bet my skin comes out crispy and flavorful, damn zombies probably won Chopped (the zombie edition).
As we picked up our pace towards WG I mentioned to Karen we were kind of stranded without proper Zombie Defense. Al we really could do was out pedal them. That is of course unless they are “fast” Zombies (the kind Kathy hates). Nope, seeing as we were only 7 miles from the NTC and the lake is a big triathlon jumping off point I am sure that we were going to run into fast zombies. Karen reminded me that I only needed to be faster than her. I would have none of it, I told her in true Team Boris fashion and spirit that I would always be the last rider..no one left behind Even in the face of the walking dead mega fast running Zombies I will not violate the sanctity of the ride or my commitment to the accomplish things in the spirit of Boris. I would battle that rapid dead for as long as needed for the team. Of course if they turned out to be shuffling/moaning/slow moving then riding away would not be a problem even if I had to do a Lance and ride the 7 miles back to WG on a flat rear tire….No Problem.
This weekend Mike Stroup, Bill, Kathy and me will be down at the MS 150. Rain will keep Kathy indoors (hotel). Michael Stewart and Sheryl are out. Michael is on IR with a wonky hip. Updates soon.
We have a great many things going on with the team. If you have not done so join the facebook page. It is a closed page so go there and request to join and viola’ you will be in. Many many updates there along with other fun and supportive stuff.
Boris Sez ”Glad You Are On The Team”
Peace and Bikes
Steve & Boris