The Thanksgiving Ride
I arrived at Loggerhead Park to be ready for a 7am ride. Problem was, nobody else was on that plan. I saw Jerry and Howard setting up, I got my things together and rode towards the TRS store. I arrived in the new Rock Hard Racing uniform, finding a few others also had the same outfit. Linda and George were announcing what was happening and the parking log was full of riders. I saw Karl from work so I stopped near him to talk. I also saw Lanae in the girls RHR cycling kit- amazing looking in purple! We rolled through the light at Donald Ross and a very large group headed north along the beach road. People were riding three four and five wide on the road. Fun runners, experienced cyclists and triathletes were all chatting and riding together. That’s what this was supposed to be. I stayed with Sal and rode near Erica for awhile, always near the tail end of the large group. We crossed the two metal bridges slowly, some walking over them. Once on Jupiter Island, the group picked up pace. I watched Sal and others go away, not realizing that I was the last person. None slower or lagging behind, it was me!
I didn’t think I’d be busting butt on this “social ride” but here I was pedaling at 21 mph solo into the wind watching the group ahead. I was close for a few minutes, but on the second long straightaway they pulled further ahead. I decided that I wasn’t willing to go that fast to close the gap – this was a ride to enjoy, I’d be going MY pace. I settled in at 19-21 and rode solo until the new Stop sign. I saw flash police car lights and thought maybe they’d started enforcing the stop rules among this very large group of riders. Nope. Someone blew a chain, the guy behind him swerved to avoid it and he went off the road, crashed, and potentially snapped a finger. Sal was there helping out, so I rode the short distance to Bridge Rd with a few people that helped out the wreck group. Once at the beach park, I took the picture (above) and went to the preserve with Mr Reid, Kendall’s dad from John’s cross country team. I stopped at the beach park again, the Fun Runners were there and they were on an extended chat break. I left for the return ride alone. Another guy named Todd rode with me and did most of the talking about his riding, his half ironman race, his group of weekend warriors, etc. Howard came up and passed us near Blowing Rocks Preserve, Todd caught up and rode with him. I rode alone to the bridges, then with those two guys up the beach road back to Loggerhead Park. I started alone, rode mostly alone and opted out of the DD social scene. I went home and had breakfast with John.