I’ve Been Retired for a Century

So what does a happy biker DO on his 1st day of retirement?

Goes for a bike ride, of course!

My local club had a 56 mile ride scheduled with the start location only 15 miles away, just over in the next county. The weather looked good for the whole day, so rather that pack it in the car, I rode out to the start. Got there in plenty of time to chat with others before we took off.

The ride got warm quickly, and it took only a few miles for a gang of six to coalesce and take off the front. I did take just a moment and made a brief stop to say hello and share encouraging words with a new cyclist.

Biker Chick
Biker Chick

That gang splintered a bit later as Gary and I got wound up just fast enough to miss a predetermind alternate (we were just following the track file on the GPS) with no one quite close enough behind to catch our attention to point out our error. We got to Newark, and waited, and waited, and eventually figured out WHY no one was coming. We took off to find the other gang at a store, but our original four we were riding with was up ahead now.

No big deal. We rode a bit with the other group for a couple miles before the nice roads and nice day inspired us to wind it up again. Gary is a true monster cyclist, burning 20+ mph into a headwind. And he punches a big hole in the air, so I was perfectly happy tucking in behind for several stretches today. And when we turned with the wind in our backs, we REALLY went sailing … until his rear shift cable broke, freezing him into his highest gear. Not a fun way to ride in rolling hills!

We stopped and watched the gang fly by as we tinkered and tested and eventually got it tied off in an easier gear, but now he has a 2-speed bike to finish the ride. But he STILL hauls ass down the road!

We again caught up with the other group and took a break at a store in Sodus. The gals migrated over to an ice cream shop leaving no indication how long they’d be stuck there, so once again, Gary and I took off to wrap up the last 13 miles of the day’s club ride.

After a brief pause at the finish at 71 miles on the ticker, I headed for home. The long way.

Weaving through the back roads, I eventually picked up the Erie Canal Trail and headed for Rochester. Right about the time I stopped to catch a couple photos,

Headed Home on the Canal Trail
Headed Home on the Canal Trail

I could feel that familar sign of “The Bonk” setting in. It seems a couple cokes and a pack of peanut butter crackers for what is now nearly 100 miles just doesn’t cut it. When I get in town and pass a bank, I see 90 degrees on the clock. That didn’t help.

(Not) soon enough, I pull into the driveway, stumble down to the cool basement and sit on the cold concrete floor for a while. Refreshing.

A Century plus Tax
A Century plus Tax

One hundred (a “century”) and seven miles of gorgeous riding, on a gorgeous day … and if I can’t get my legs to move in the morning, it’s not a problem.

I’m retired.

Turn the Page

“There I Go, On the Road Again … ” – Bob Segar

A short and slow yet heartfelt ride today. In the morning, as I started off to work at 6:01am, I texted Dave:

“LAST day at MCC … on Pug headed 4 12crns”

reply:

“Cu there in a few”

Dave and I meet at “Twelve Corners” on occasion for morning coffee. After coffee, we rode together to the south side trail (dirt) of the Erie Canal, which leads to a trail through the woods and connects to the loop road around Monroe Community College. It’s where I’ve worked for 15 years as a Macintosh Systems Administrator for the Visual and Performing Arts Department, technically, but have in reality been “The Mac Guy” for almost the entire college.

I spent the day wrapping up the last few details, and left via the same trail in the afternoon.

Buh Bye!
Buh Bye!

I took a long and leisurely ride home, and when I checked the mailbox at home, I found a wonderful card from my dear friend Linda.

branchout

 

As of today, I’m “Retired” but only by definition in my contract. In reality, I’m simply branching out in a new direction just as Linda says.

Thank You All at MCC.
It’s been a Great Ride!

Update: Dave sends a link … appropriate!

Yabba Dabba Do!

Pride and Challenge

Back in June, Karen and I joined Chuck and Bonnie on tandems to do the The Ride for Pride (RFP2014), a fund raiser/picnic for the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. We had a great time …

I Can Fly! Bounce Pad at Long Acre Farms
I Can Fly! Bounce Pad at Long Acre Farms
Roadside Lounging
Spectators Awaiting the  Rainbow Peloton

and the event raised over $20,000 for the Alliance. And I had my first ever Jello-shots at the party! Everyone got a T-shirt for the ride in one of the rainbow colors and we had a group photo “in formation”.

R4P 2014 Group
R4P 2014 Rainbow Riders

Friday, July 18th

“The Rainbow Riders” from RFP 2014 got called out for the Pride Festival Weekend to do a group ride, in formation of course, through the “gayborhoods” of Rochester …

At Corn Hill Landing
At Corn Hill Landing

and ending at the MLKJ/Manhatten Square Park downtown where the opening ceremonies for the Pride 2014 Festival began.

The Rainbow Riders
The Rainbow Riders at the Festival

It was a beautiful and touching opening with music (Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”) and dance …

True Colors
True Colors

and our Mayor Lovely Warren issued the Proclamation for the weekend. We had to leave early … gotta get a good night’s sleep because …

Saturday, July 19th

Up early and at the Farmington Town Park by 7am, we were first to get our names on the sign-up board for our club’s annual Andrew Spiller Memorial Challenge Ride. We reserve the park and pavilion for 24 hours to offer the opportunity for cyclists to ride as little … or as much as they want. In the past, many members have reached personal bests, and some folks have topped over 400 miles! Weather radar proved that we would again miss a good “all-nighter” this year, but the rain held off till later afternoon … good enough to score some good miles. My buddy from work came out for a loop and we rode our touring bikes … Jim’s a Surly Ogre, mine a Surly LHT … racks, fenders and lights at the ready.

Andy and Christine were on their tandem and were hammering hard in the last loop of the day; I assume trying to beat the rain. It was everything I could do to hang on to their tail which turned into a rooster tail of water when the rain hit us just a few miles out. I managed to squeeze in 101 miles for the day and after drafting the red rocket-ship tandem for nearly all of the last 25 miles, I was beat, ready for food and a warm dry bed at home.

Over 40 members came out for the day and even though we cut it short due to rain, we still had at least five members break 100 miles.

Can’t wait for next year! I just know it will be warm and DRY!