Sorry for the length of the note........
I bailed on doing the local Polar Bear metric century yesterday due to the wind blowing so hard it would take away from the fun of it. I went out today and rode about 60 miles just enjoying a nice day and traveling some roads I had not ridden in a long time. I met a few other riders out apparently doing the same thing. I took the camera but just didn't see anything unique enough that I thought might interest you folks-unless you like pictures of barns, houses with tin roofs, churches, pastures, goats, cows, etc.
On the return leg I turned onto a road that had a pretty good sight distance and out in front of me a good ways was another cyclist. I automatically picked up the pace to see if I could catch up. I found myself going really harder but I was able to close the gap and catch him over a stretch of 2-3 miles.
As I pulled up I quickly recognized him as "Ted"-someone I had met on the road this summer and also on most of the Blackberry Cobbler Centuries in December. He has been out of town for a while so I had not seen him in at least a month.
We chatted for a second which quickly lead to him telling me about his divorce-which I did not know he was going through. I could tell it was really eating at him so I just let him talk and tried to be a good listener. He and his ex had spent a good part of yesterday together dividing up stuff and doing some of the things I guess you have to do to part ways. He talked about his kids and how they were affected, etc. He seemed really happy just to have someone he could talk to. Later he made a comment about how nice it was to ride along with someone else.
I don't know why, but it seems when I ride with others the pace just goes up. Both of us had probably ridden along around 17 mph by ourselves-not really pushing it but just enjoying being out on the road. As we were riding side by side, a few miles later he commented about how he was glad I came along as it really helped him get his pace up. I looked down and we had been riding 21-22 mph just cruising down the road together and talking.
We probably rode for almost an hour together taking the same roads back to our houses.
This reminded me why I enjoyed riding with others-and another good reminder of why I enjoy riding at all.