The 2nd Annual Cider Ride was a different thing altogether from the 1st ride. For starters, this one was in Montgomery County; last year’s was in PG County. Last year the weather was just plain cold; this year it was 40s with the threat and eventually the reality of rain.
So I got up early and left the house for the start in Gathersburg. I arrived a little after 8. Only a few people were there. Over the course of the next hour, several dozen people showed up including Dave and Jean on their amazing Co-Motion tandem, Peter, Justin, John, and Reba. Looks like we got us a posse.
The forecast was calling for constant rain from 11 am on. I was counting on being nearly half way done by then. It wasn’t to be though. The first 5 miles were stop and go in the suburbs. We must have hit 20 traffic lights. The stops strung out the impressively large group. Who knew there were so many insane cyclists in this area?
Dave and Jean soon zooomed ahead on their tandem. Dang they are fast. Peter, Justin, Reba, John and I rode in close proximity. Justin flatted and then stopped to help a rider who fell on a slippery descent. She was okay but was put in the SAG wagon as a precaution. Reba had to stop to put her chain back on.
As the suburbs thinned out the roads became hilly. The hills didn’t bother me in the least. And I was actually too warm in all the layers I was wearing. We pulled into the first rest stop (just a bathroom in a park) and reconnoitered. Reba was nowhere to be found. While we waited we chatted with Rod Smith and Megan McCarty, two course marshalls.
Several minutes later she showed up unhappy. Her chain wouldn’t stay in a gear, any gear. So after much examination we determined that in the course of her chain falling off it had become twisted. A bystander gave is a master link, a easy-to-put-on replacement link. Rod tried to put it on but it was for a different kind of chain, too narrow. So Reba needed to SAG back to the start. This whole chain business took a good 30 minutes. In that time I went from dry and warm to wet and freezing. After my 3rd night with inadequate sleep, I was not feeling very spunky so I joined her in the ride back in the van piloted by GIna from WABA.
This was only my second SAG ride ever. I am glad I took it though. Riding another 40+ miles in the rain would have sucked.
On the way home I stopped in a park to change our of my wet clothes, called a friend who wasn’t home, and headed to my local bike shop to have my brake cables replaced. Nothing makes a ride more interesting that a rear brake that won’t engage.
As I pulled in, Reba was rolling out with her bike and its new chain. She told me that it was really expensive because while she was at the shop, she bought a new bike. It’s a Trek with fat tires and disc brakes.
So the day turned our okay for Reba. And I learned the limits of my bikiness. At least for this year.