Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Double Triple


After being struck by a car I wanted to go home yesterday but ended up getting a wheel repair at the local Trek bike store. At no charge. That always helps.

The newly trued wheel rolled well and I was thankful for the coolness of the morning air to ride. But I also thought of the bike and remembered that a carbon fiber bike must be checked out before being ridden again after a crash. While I was thankful the local Trek store fixed my wheel I wish the mechanic would have asked to check out the bike. I was in no frame of mind to think to ask him to do that.

Trek Guy checking the bike

Arriving in Berryville, I found the on-site Trek guy who checked out the bike and was able to reposition the shifters. He gave the bike a clean bill of health. And he gave me peace of mind.

I felt as though I was the last to leave Berryville and instantly began to catch and pass everyone. It would be one of those days where I would pass everyone and not get passed. Period.

After making my way through the first group of riders I passed five riders stopped along the side of the road, all supervising some poor schmuck trying to fix his bike. I asked if they needed one more person to watch and they said yes. So I stopped.  Poor guy had a broken chain and other than making a phone call (for SAG support), I couldn't help, but by then all those slow, old (my age) people came rolling by so I let them pass then worked my way through them again.

When I passed a rider named Karen, she jumped on my wheel and followed me. She announced her presence and stated that I was the right speed to follow. And she did. For a while. Then she admitted I was too fast but I backed it off and we rode together and picked up some other riders as well. At Rest Stop Number 1, I saw a family with young children in cycling gear. How cute. As they were getting ready to leave I talked to them. I told them I saw a family down at River Ride on the Northern Neck about five years ago who had a triple Co-Motion bike with dad and two daughters on it while the mother pulled a -- "Burley Trailer," everyone pretty much said in unison.

"That was us," replied the mom. The family is from Front Royal, Virginia.

My memory of that day was seeing this extremely cute family pull in and the youngest girl was sound asleep -- head over folded arms on the handlebars -- with her feet clipped into the pedals going in circles.

The older daughter said "yep, that was Kylie.  She can do that"*

But now there were six. They've added to their cycling family. Three on dad's bike and three on mom's. How very cute. A double triple.

They left the rest stop before I did and although I caught them on Kabletown Road, I didn't see them the rest of the day. Hopefully I will see them again.

The route would zigzag around Charles Town on some of the roads I had ridden down to Berryville to the start. I was almost getting dizzy going in a circle. Like yesterday, my cousin, Kay Walborn, started earlier than I could, and from Berryville.

Although this was billed as a recreational touring ride and not a place for pace lines, occasional lines formed and it was fun riding just a little faster with other people. Or a lot faster than other people. I had missed out on that yesterday except for the first 10 miles or so when I had jumped in with a group of four.

But today I rode with a woman and her dad for a while, and also with Paul from Allentown, Pa., plus Karen from Ashville, N.C. At the lunch stop around Mile 48 (my mile 68) I had caught my cousin, Kay Walborn, and we then rode together the optional 20 mile loop. Near the end of the ride, I was ahead of Kay and her friend, Wanda, on Job Corps Road, when I was left shaken. 

While descending a hill, I was doing about 30 mph and was hugging the white line at the edge of the road. There was no shoulder. Then I heard it. A large diesel pickup truck was barreling down on me and wanting to pass. But there was an oncoming car and hardly room for three of us. He gunned it.

I was over as far as I could get and the truck passed within inches. Kay told me that the truck missed my head by two inches. What is it? Two accidents in two days?

When we finished I had 90 miles so it was easy to get 100 before going back to Bethany's. 

Barry, Kay, some jerk in the background

Two Days. Two Centuries.


*I'm not sure of the daughter's name - but let's go with Kylie.

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