Due in no small part to my attention deficit and short term memory problems this post has lingered on the TO DO pile. But fear not, I’m back pecking away. I kinda like short term memory lose by the way. I mean I git ta watch the same movies over and over. That’s just one of the many positives. Meeting people for the very first time over and over again is another. Sit tight! Here goes nothin’.
April 17 2017 and I’m sitting at the table with the A Team (grand kids 1, 2, & 3 Avery, Addison and Alyna) having lunch, Brussels Sprouts, while they enjoy their version of tacos. It’s the last day of this journey to N.E. VA. We were assigned kid watching duties while the adult children were off at a Beer Brewers Convention in the District. Aside from R95 being shut down just south of the Santee the ride north was good. The snowbirds were in full retreat and someone somehow managed to set fire to their 5th wheel and close the highway down. By the time we passed the wreck all that was left was a duely with it’s rear end burnt off and the melting hulk of a camping trailer. Val and I agreed that traveling with a camper needs more consideration on our part.
I did manage a few rides while there. I have a 30 and a 40 mile route that I’ve written about before. The MURT along 234, Dumfries Rd. + Waterway Rd. are good enough just not great. Joplin Rd will take you to Prince William Forest Park. Joplin road is small road with lots of twist and turns making visibility tough, blinkers recommended. Prince William Park is a great ride, a roller coaster. Everywhere rolling hills are to be found. Not a lot of grade but enough for a flat lander to notice that it ain’t SW Florida.
The grand daughters all ride their small BMX type bikes and after I did some needed adjusting and repairs off they went. It’s great to watch these motivated self starters.
OKAY Ray we’ve been on this trip with you through this blog already get on with it. Sorry. Two things stuck out this trip; the pollen and the low humidity. Everything is in full bloom and the pollen makes breathing an issue, nose needing constant clearing. The low humidity coupled with the cool to warm temperatures help the breathing and sweating is almost non existent, dehydration not a factor. Aside from the pollen conditions were good for cycling and running.
Okay. Let’s move on. Here’s what’s happening with me.
First off; Is it me or do you ever wonder why you post your activities on Strava. I mean it’s nice to have a data base keeping track and even before Garmin or Strava I kept an Excel spread sheet. I don’t remember doing anything pen and paper before the PC. Way back when, back when the 5K was known as the 3 mile, the coach had a clipboard and a stop watch but that’s about it. Sometimes numbers were posted on the bulletin board for the whole world to see. But of course my world was pretty small back then. Anyway. These days I wonder why it’s so important to post my workouts on a social media site for the whole world to see. I truly get people from all over the planet wanting to follow me on Strava and I’m sure you do as well. Why? Do they admire me, want to be like me? Hardly. Most likely they’re wanting to sell me something. I’ll pass. If I don’t know you I’m reluctant to except your request. I could be wrong. Maybe it’s someone who follows this blog. The last time I looked there were about 3700 subscribers. Shocking really. Maybe I should sell something on it.
AND ANOTHER THING ABOUT STRAVA. Do I go out and do the work just so I can show others my numbers or do I do it for me. If I did it just for me well then I wouldn’t bother with Strava would I. That answers that. LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT HOW FAR, HOW FAST, AND WITH WHOM I RODE TODAY. PLEASE GIVE ME A KUDO! I NEED MORE KUDOS! (Best when pretending Jim Gaffigan is saying it). It’s pathetic superfluous adulation. BUT if it makes me get out and do the work., pushes me…. Love the work, the road bike, the mountain bike. Running…………….not in love with it. Use to be but now I find it tedious and yes…..boring. But It’s nice to know I can still go.
Stopped off at daughter Kristen’s on our way back from VA. Grandson Joey loves his bicycle and rides like a champ. I must have some influence for he’s the only kid around wearing a skid lid. The rents have made it a law. Break the law and the bike privileges get revoked. Grand daughter Kat, (Katherine) is sure to follow suit.
April 30th and it’s the 15th annual Sharky’s Ride The Beaches in Venice Florida. I love this event. A great route that includes Manasota Key, The Legacy Trail and Casey Key. Lots of good friends to ride with and an outstanding picnic afterwards. The weather was fantastic which is to say calm. We got out quick and with a lot of the heavy lifting done by some riders from the Sarasota Cycling Club we finished strong and in good spirits. The ride raises money for Livestrong and The Team Tony Foundation. Team Tony is Sarasota based and provides personalized matches that enable 1-1 support among cancer fighters, survivors and caregiver.
Memorial Day and it’s The Tour Of Desoto County Florida with a bunch of really close friends that I’ve known as long as I’ve been in this part of the world plus some riders I met for the first time, well I think it’s the first time. Desoto Co. makes for just pristine cycling, the land that time forgot. The roads are small and traffic free. Close encounters with our K9 buddies can be expected but, well……….just don’t be the slowest. Actually the danger of being taken out by a dog is quite real. Just ask anyone who’s been riding for awhile. Oh the stories I can tell, but no contact was made this day. (Hemmingway may have left that late comma out but I’m no Hemmingway). Sadly we did have a young lady take a spill. We were crossing and turning onto a major road when there was a pickup wanting to turn onto to the road where we were stopped waiting. The pickup had the right of way but waited for us to cross. The rider who fell got her front wheel in some sand and it turned out from under her. Been there done that. She goes down, scuffs her knee a bit but breaks the rear derailleur hanger. It’s suppose to break away saving the frame but now what! A coupla guys pull their talents and resources and the next thing ya know she’s able to ride it as a single speed. We regroup and spin along to the next Quicky Mart where she wants to call Uber to take her the remaining 20+ miles back to her car but guess what! We’re in Nocate Fl. and there ain’t no stinkin’ Uber drivers. Crap……but not to worry. A guy calls his girlfriend who is kind enough to come and pick her up. I told you these were great people.
It’s now early June and I’ve ridden Alva with a buddy who now lives here full time. Alva is located just north of the Caloosahatchee River and the Caloosahatchee Regional Park features great single track trail riding. Very punchy ( an immediate need for more torque) with a black diamond section I have never ridden. The black diamond indicates that the trail is for advanced riders which I am not but what’s the worst that could happen! My riding partner is an advanced rider and so what the heck. I ride through very slowly without any real problems. Real problems are things like falling off the bike and into a gully beside the trail, hitting a tree really hard, doing a Polish Wheely ( end over) or just one of many other stupid tricks. Or breaking something important on the bike I guess. None of these things occurred. I did see a panther back there though. Really! It’s a statue someone strategically placed in the bushes to scare the crap out of you. It worked.
Back on the main trail there is set of three steep moguls and alas the first two beat me. Come to find out I have no torque at zero and the first one is just that, a start from an almost dead stop. I push my way up it though just so I can pat the statue of the lion. The 2nd one, well about half way up I got way outta shape squirrelly and failed to make it, another push up. The 3rd one was doable. Better luck with the first two next time. Knowing what I’m faced with and gearing way down will help.
June 4th found me once again riding single track at the Carlton Reserve near Venice in Sarasota Co. Florida. It was an organized event put on by The Sarasota County Off Road Riders, SCORR, and the Florida Mud Cutters from Lee County. There were multiple groups all led by those experienced with the trails. I chose the 20 mile ride for a lot of reasons the biggest being I was tired from 3 days in the saddle leading up to this + I measure trail miles in dog years. 1 trail mile is equal to 7 road miles. Well not really but I’m not there yet for much over 20 miles on a trail bike. ANYWAY……….. I’m riding on the Boldly Go single track with about ten or so and it’s just great and getting better all the time. The new section, Sugar On The Rim, is really nice. “So why Sugar On The Rim”? That’s how the trail workers take there Margaritas. People THAT’S how you recruit volunteers.
We jumped off the single track and spun down to the bridge on the South Power Line Trail to see the gators. The kids were out but the adults remained hidden. Back up the power line and onto the Red Trail. There are miles and miles of trails to ride at Carlton and it’s best to bring your lunch. BUT NOT TODAY! That’s right! SCORR and the Mud Cutters provided lunch. Burgers and dogs with all the fixins’. It’s the 2nd SCORR event ride I’ve been to where lunch was provided and no money was ask for or taken when offered. I believe the proceeds from their Piggy’s Revenge Ride provides them with funding to sponsor other great rides through out the year. These are my kinda people.
WOW! I’m tired just reading about all that. So what’s next! Well me and little Val are planning our June swing through Dixie Land ending up once again visiting the kids. Hey and we’re gonna tent camp along the way including the Smokey’s and the Sky Line! Yes I’m taking a road bike……….DUH. Sure to have some great yarns to spin on this here site. Til then………..I hope you find the joy.