Boy did I need to go riding today. A week off the bike due to my Orlando trip (business folks… not pleasure) is like taking a kid away from the Halloween candy. Even though the gym at the hotel did have a stationary bike….. no way. So a week off the bike and today was a new day!
Met up with some friends in Delaware to ride a 25 mile ride with lunch at the Crab Shack and ice cream too. The weather was shaping up to be a great day despite what they called for on the weather channel but the wind was an issue. I knew it will be bad when the wind starts giving me trouble when driving.
Met up with Jim, Nadja, Michelle and Cliff. A few other people were supposed to go but couldn’t make it. We had the wind at our backs on the first half of the ride which meant on the way back, we would pay for it. Nadja got a flat at the beginning but wasn’t an issue after we got it changed (thanks for letting me change it). For some reason, the changing of the tire went really fast….surprised me but I have been practicing a lot in my apartment in the evening. Guess it paid off!
The scenery was great and every time I go riding in Delaware, it makes me want the move there. Reminds me of home (not Seattle but Longview) because people are nice, the roads are not that busy and it’s peaceful…. And did I mention people were nice? Something that’s a little different being on the East coast so far.
We pulled into the Crab Shack and were the first customers there this morning. Got to sit outside so we could watch the bikes and the food was pretty good. Who can beat steamed mussels in butter and wine served with garlic bread?!?! Darn good. Not heavy to weigh you down and not so light you didn’t notice that you ate.
Then came the challenge. Jim said…. You all up for a challenge? Sure we said. Since the Reedy Point Bridge was so close, the challenge was the go up that bridge. Now, two weeks ago, Jim and I went up the bridge from the other side. It was steep but the accomplishment from just getting up there was big and the downhill was outstanding so what the heck…. Lets do the challenge. We finished eating, Cliff had to leave to go to work (I think he was a little scared but I have no proof of this since he is a strong rider) and back on the bikes we be.
Jim blasted past us while Michelle was freaking out (I say this with love Michelle!) about how high it was. She doesn’t like heights…. And I hate climbing them so we made a great pair. Nadja spun past me and Michelle yelled “Isaac, please don’t leave me” and I didn’t respond….then she yelled “Isaac….ISAAAAACCCCC” and I yelled back “Hush Michelle…. I am focusing on my breathing.” It was funny at the time I must say. But we finally made it up the bridge.
It wasn’t that bad of a climb…long but not steep. We stopped for some pictures and I suggested we go down the other side and climb back up. Jim thought it was a crazy idea which just fueled my need to do it. Down the hill I went with Michelle and Nadja close by. Turn around we did and the climb started again. This side is much harder. Shorter distance but steeper grade. Nadja flies past me and I keep spinning in the granny gear but gosh darn…. That granny gear got me up to the darn bridge. Thank goodness. Now a sweet down hill but nope…. Wind was so bad that I couldn’t get past 13 mph which is unusual for me going downhill but the wind was strong. Kinda felt cheated.
Jim was down the hill awaiting our arrival and back on the saddle after a little break. Now it was time to pay…. The headwinds. Jim flew with Nadja and Michelle in tow and me sweeping the back. Sweeping is the good term for it…. Was slow and fighting the wind. But we made it to the ice cream shop AND it was the last day they were open for the season. What a treat and the cool thing was that it was a pretty unique ice cream place…. Something I have been searching for since I left Seattle.
A little rest, talk and ice cream and back on the bike for the last 5 miles. I got to draft off Jim which was nice because drafting off Nadja and Michelle… well… they are petit little things so there is not much to draft off of (but ladies… I did notice ya all drafting off me…. Could be my outstanding look from the back side.. just sayin!). Pulled up to the start point and… well… time for the drive home. After the drive home.... the reward is even better (gotta look at the pictures to know what I mean).
Great ride and thank you Jim for the wonderful time. Jim has led so many rides and we, as a group, are always thankful for them. Leading rides is tough but thank you. This will be the last ride, Jim says, that he will be leading this year. Kinda saddens me but I do know that it must be hard on him. I do think we all could step up and lead some rides in DE, PA and NJ.
With that said, I will be leading a 20 or 40 mile ride in the Medford area this month. Flat area with great scenery. Just need to nail down a few things before I shoot it out to everyone.