Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is it fall?

This last Sunday felt like October not August. The Weather Channel said it was 49F when I got up, really I just rolled over to grab my iPod Touch and wait for the bad news. We were headed off to get some miles in on the tandem with the Bombay Bicycle Club.

I quickly got my Pearl Izumi bib knickers and long sleeve jersey on, topped for the time being with a fleece jacket and hat. Finally warm I headed out to load the gear and tandem into and on my Subaru Baja. After a small breakfast we headed out.

We pulled into the town of Paoli with plenty of time to spare and got out to find it was really cold with the wind blowing steadily. Turned out the vest for Jen and my jacket I'd grabbed just in case were very necessary. We went and got our map for the 54 mile route deciding, along with a friend we were riding with, that would be plenty and waited for the ride to begin.

This ride was different than most Sunday rides, this week the ride leader was hosting a picnic at his farm. After a short talk on road conditions the group rolled out to the west. We were dropped by the fast group within a couple of miles. They may have needed to push hard to generate body heat since many were only in shorts and short sleeved jerseys. Our ride went well out to the farm, small hills and a tailwind made for some easier cruising. We caught another group of three riders before reaching the farm and the six of us rolled down the long gravel drive.

The ride is called the Watermelon Ride but what we found was a long table of fruit, veggies, chips, pasta salad and drinks. Our group was the first to arrive followed shortly by two other bikers, one of which was Mike the ride leader and owner of the farm. We sat eating and chatting for a half hour or so before heading back to the road.

The wind was going to be a pain all the way back to the car. With only two bikes in our group, drafting or a paceline was hardly worth it. Maybe half way back we were overtaken by the fast group. No chance we could hang on to that crew, so quickly we were a group of three again. We figured that they had skipped the farm picnic, Jen had seen one of them at a store in Monticello, WI. I had mixed feelings about the bypass they had done. On one hand the ride leader had gone to a lot of work to provide a nice lunch for whoever wanted to stop by and I wondered if having a large percentage of the group skip would be insulting. On the other hand at least some of the same riders that skipped the farm were shockingly rude at the start of the ride during the announcements so maybe they weren't missed.

We made it back to the start feeling more tired than we expected thanks to the headwind. Hopefully the weather will warm up. We still have two big rides planned in September plus two rivers we want to paddle.