Sunday, December 9, 2007

Chili Dawg Fun

This weekend, the weather forecast was for sun and 70 degrees. Raja and I were thrilled with the promise of warmer weather, and eager to join Mike Palmeri for ride #4 of his Chili Dawg Winter Ride Series!

Saturday morning was anything but sunny and warm. We drove in silence through the rain and fog as my mood grew darker by the minute. I don't do rain, especially on a bike. I don't do cold, especially on a bike. We sat in the parking lot debating our fate. If we go home now, no one will know. Oops, too late.

In drive Russell and Sunny. Maybe they didn't see us. Then up comes a big ole pink bike. Well, dang it, Eddie and Namrita must be here. There's no getting out of this now. We're doomed.

I guess I'm just a big ole wuss, because the women were coming out of the woodwork to do this ride, rain or no rain. I began to feel very small and pathetic. Eight of us femmes total!

You could have knocked me over with a feather when a friend from my deep dark past showed up, Brian King. I met his lovely girlfriend, Patty, yet another strong hearty cyclist unaffected by inclement weather. This was shaping up to be a cool group afterall. Glad we stuck around.

Rolling off into the fog was a bit surreal. I enjoyed sitting back and watching
the effect.

Mike had picked out a fabulous route combining the finest in scenic paved roads
and choice gravel forest service roads.
It felt as though you were a million miles away from civilization without a care in the world, lost in Backwoods, USA.

Kevin Kellar and Namrita were the stars of the day on their singlespeeds. I just don't understand. I see 'em do it, don't know how they do it! Crazy kids.

With slightly different gearing, Kevin raced ahead the entire ride keeping a sizeable gap on the rest of us. I know enough not to challenge him, not that I could have. I had my hands full trying to keep up with his wife, Mary. There's alot of talent under the guise of her friendly smile. Get her under the tutelage of a coach and watch out expert women. Better yet, skip the coaching, then we can all ride with her every once in a while. If she keeps hanging with her hubbie though, that's all the coaching she needs. Just look at him.

While Raja was testing out the Trek Demo bike on today's ride, I was just happy to be out. It has been quite a few weeks since we've been on a long ride, and I was afraid my legs would forget how. It's that time of year when we're supposed to be doing long steady rides. Have we? No. Glad to finally get started. It was fun!
Molly and Namrita thought so too.

Mike, Laina, Sunny, Eddie, and Terry all had a good time.

We all had a good ride! Even the stores at our rest stops were in a festive mood.

Yes, we all had fun, but don't get the wrong impression. This was no picnic in the park ride. It was long and some hard work involved getting up some loooooooong hills. We got rained on. Sometimes, you could hardly see through the fog.

Sunny was the only thing sunny for the day!

Just over 4 hours, 46 miles, and 4500' of climbing. That's nothing to sneeze at, thank you. (I got 49 miles thanks to some extra credit "penalty laps"). We were all glad when it was over, and ready to chow down on some chili, thanks to Chef Kevin. Molly brought some killer scones (of which I ate more than my share). We put as much enthusiasm into our chowing down as we did our riding. It was well-deserved!

Thanks Mike for a fantastic Day! Raja and I had a fabulous ride, and we hope to get back for more.

Today I awoke a bit tired from yesterday's jaunt. Raja was fresh as a rose, of course. So we loaded up the bikes and headed for Blankets. He wanted one last test ride on the Trek.

I was hoping for an easy couple of hours with our friend, Robert. Instead, Greg Turner shows up and evens out the score. Oh joy, fastest man on 3 planets along for my easy ride.

We showed Greg some trails that were new to him. I made the mistake of getting on his wheel and chasing him down a long hill. Next thing I know, it's just the 2 of us with no Robert or Raja in sight. We had missed a turn. Great. For the next hour it was just me and Greg. Me, chasing Greg, the fastest man on earth on his singlespeed, no less. My easy 2 hour ride turned into an all out race. But it was still fun!

Now I'm completely 100% trashed and ready for a long winter's nap. The only problem is, it's 75 degrees outside. Makes you want to stay outside all day long! We saw everybody at Blankets; PBC Matt, Clifford, TonyT, MattA, Allen, Claudia, Kate, Robin, and Mike.

All in all a GREAT weekend of good friends and great riding! What more can a girl ask for?

Here are some slideshows of Saturday's ride. I spread the pics out into 3 slideshows.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Laurie!

Thanks for all the great pictures & the post. Yeah, keeping up with Kevin... Well let me rephrase that, keeping the shortest distance between the two of us as possible so that I can shorten his waiting on the wife time, is my coaching. That & trying to keep up with you! But it's always fun. I appreciate your kind words, but I'll have nothing to brag about until I ride as fast & as strong as you, then hold onto the fastest, strongest woman title for 18 years! That's what makes you THE MAMA!

Hope to see you & your Sherpa soon. BTW, your brownie bars were AWESOME! I was at Mike & Terry's Tuesday & we polished off the few that were left!

Take Care,