Thanks to Dan and Barb for hosting another wonderful ride. As Dan mentioned, the last time I did this ride it was in the rain. What a treat to have such a wonderful day this time around. The ride is a bit hilly, but you are always rewarded with some great downhill stretches. The Baylis really wanted to roll on those downhill sections. It was about three-quarters of the way into the ride when a great screaming downhill presented itself, and I just couldn't resist. The bike wanted to go, so I just tucked in and let it. The bike is just awesome on fast descents and I just rocketed away. I reached the bottom and started a long climb, still feeling good from the descent. When I finally crested the hill, I slowed waiting for the others to catch up. And waited. Hmmm. I didn't think they were that far behind. When it finally dawned on me that something was amiss, I pulled out the cue sheet that Dan had provided (and that I was happy I'd folded and pocketed). Sure enough, there was a left on that downhill back there! Oh well, I could use a couple extra miles. Back on course with only one more climb, and then that last great, freshly paved downhill leading back to beer and brats. I was motoring down when my cell phone rang. I slowed slightly, sat up, took my hands off the bars and grabbed my phone. It was Dan checking to see if I was back on track. I assured him that I was only minutes back, and would be looking for a beer momentarily, before tucking my phone back in my jersey pocket. All the while, I was still sailing downhill. I'm not really recommending operating a cell phone while on a fast descent, but the Baylis is so rock-solid that it inspires (maybe too much?) confidence when moving rapidly.
Anyway, the Baylis and I had a blast. Great ride. Great company. Great food. What could be better.
When's the next ride?
Wayne Bingham Kill Devil Hills NC USA (temporarily)
On 7/15/07, Barb & Dan Artley <email@example.com> wrote:
> We had a lovely day for a pretty ride in the country, just hot enough to
> look for shade while waiting to regroup, but just lovely with the wind
> in your face. And it was a nice intimate crowd that made it a easy to
> keep together. Wayne Bingham was first to arrive, with John Barry
> coming soon after. Wayne brought his green Baylis, always a stunner.
> John had the oldest bike, the 1952 JA Holland he'd brought to Cirque
> this year, lot's of patina, but it sure was pretty! My biking buddy
> Gary Gentry came next riding his Litespeed (his vintage fixed Motebecane
> inappropriate for this terrain). Peter Kohler and Ken Sanford were
> next, Ken on his Gillot, and Peter riding his 1969 PX-10 with full
> Peugeot racing kit in honor of Bastille Day and Tommy Simpson. Larry
> Osborn was next, coming the farthest distance with a really sweet
> Eisentraut Limited that he'd owned for years. Finally arriving were two
> local friends, James Sheridan, and Al Barrett. Jim's been doing these
> rides here for a few years on fixed gear, alternating between his
> DiBernardi track bike and an Ibis Scorcher, finally last year using a
> front brake. This year he'd brought a mountain bike converted to city
> riding for our hills. And Al, a retired bicycle sales rep for the
> Baltimore/Washington area, had his old tourer w/ biopace rings.
> The group climbed out of our valley, and we started to level off a bit
> after the first half mile with folks pairing off to chat. John Barry
> with the highest low gear and James were leading the pack attacking
> every grade. About three miles in, Gary heard a bit of metal tinking on
> the paving and searched and found the pedal dust cap from John's
> Holland. Finger tightened we continue'd the ride on quiet roads. We
> rolled through a small lake community having a neighborhood yard sale,
> commenting on the bikes for sale. And then along Strawberry Road,
> through the neighborhood of Beatle's fans, Abbey Rd., Penny La., etc.
> We stopped at a local bike shop in New Freedom to tighten John's pedal
> cap, and cruised the back room with the owner showing us his vintage
> stuff, trade ins with virtually no mileage, a silver Alan, perfect
> Raleigh 3 speeds, and an interesting belt drive unusual suspension
> hybrid. The folks waiting outside had a longer rest stop than they
> expected while we disappeared into the shops bowels.
> Back on the bikes we rolled out of town, down a lovely roller through
> the corn fields and back up a slow grinder to the ridge. We were to
> turn onto a really pretty road Peter once compared to the English
> countryside, a somewhat blind turn in the middle of the hill. Wayne was
> getting into his stride at that point and rolled into the lead and was
> out of sight before the ride leader as always, leading from behind,
> could get his attention. He and James were gone.
> I waited a minute or so, but they weren't coming back, so I tried to
> catch the peloton. We regrouped at the next intersection and climbed
> the last short, steep climb, and were soon heading homeward along the
> ridge with only a few miles to go. The last four miles are mostly
> downhill with the last two and a half an absolute roller coaster with
> some hairpins thrown in. And fresh smooth paving that replaced one of
> the crappiest, badly patched road surfaces in the county. I know the
> road so well I was off spinning as fast as I could and soon was by
> myself. But everyone was enjoying that finish. Jim was there within a
> minute or so of the rest and Wayne showed up a few minutes later. Wayne
> was remembering the ride of two years ago finishing in the rain and
> having to ride the brakes all the way down. This was what biking's
> Barb had the grill fired up within minutes and a big spread for the
> hungry riders. The dogs were soon ready, and the drinks were cold!
> John helped me pull out a couple of bikes from the basement to line the
> railing and we brought up a few of our riders bikes. The tour was on
> TV, and people started to get comfortable. My bike shop had the best
> cleaning it's had in almost two years and everyone got a look. Life is
> good! I hardly felt that I'd talked to everyone enough when folks
> started to be off! Can't wait for the next ride. Who's is next?
> In the excitment John Barry left his camera here, he was the only one
> taking photos. I'd carried my camera along the whole ride without
> pulling it out once, too much fun. He's honored me with allowing the
> downloading of those photos, so here they are posted for all to see.
> http://sports.webshots.com/album/559886921ygXJin He's really taken
> some nice shots. Thanks John and all who came for the ride. I sure had
> a good time.
> Happy trails,
> Dan Artley in Parkton, Maryland