Just back from a 60 mile jaunt (some of it in heavy rain) from Southampton, PA to Frenchtown, PA and back. In the last 12 miles, there are what I consider to be some significant hills. After some 50 miles, some of those climbs can present a challenge to an old guy like me - but the reward is always to be found in the frolic that accompanies the descent that awaits you after you conquer the climb.
It was raining heavily as I crested this particular hill (an unexpected delight, as the rain made the climb not only cooler, but more interesting).
I started down (I guess it's about a mile or mile and a half to the bottom) and noticed that one vehicle chose to follow rather than to pass me. There is plenty of room on this stretch of road. I was riding on the shoulder that is at least 8-ft wide - so there was no reason for this vehicle not to pass me.
About midway through my descent, the vehicle decides to pass. I'm not certain what to expect and am weighing just how I will respond.
I glance left to peer through the window only to see the male driver and his female passenger giving me four thumbs up. Well, ok, I can deal with that. I haven't checked my speed, but know that I'm now moving fast enough that any reaction is going to be necessarily brief. I flash back my own quick thumbs up and continue on my descent.
As I reach the bottom of the hill (the road here is covered with water due to the heavy rains), I notice that they have pulled over.
I unclip early and spread my legs just to make certain they are reasonably aware that I plan to pull along side them.
When I reach them, the driver has his window down. I inquire if he is "alright." He shoots the same inquiry back to me, "are you alright."
"Yea," I said, "you guys just made my day!" (referring to the quad-thumbs up).
"Well," he replied, "we just couldn't resist. Do you realize you were going over 40 mph for almost a mile? I've never seen a bike go that fast."
I wanted to explain that, had he observed this 60-year old ten years ago, I would have shown him what really fast was - but, my brain doesn't work that fast. Besides, I'm a long way from 60, and I was not back into riding 10 years ago, so, in reality, I could not have shown him nearly as much as what, by happen stance, I was able to demonstrate today.
Instead, I thanked him and his (I presume) significant other for taking the time to be so hospitable, and then challenged him to observe me burn up the next hill at some 6 mph.
I guess he had more pressing responsibilities. We shook hands, I admonished him to drive carefully, and, with that, they were both on their way.
But, ah, what a pleasantly surprising encounter.
Pleasant, indeed. So pumped was I that I maintained 8 mph up those remaining climbs, even though they came at the end of my ride.
Thus should it be every weekend.