Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clyde awes all with tire changing skill!

After last week's massive showing, this week was still a good turnout. Beth and Bruce were both inundated by school responsibilities, so they opted out despite having their bikes and gear at school, ready to ride. Noah had a couple of tests that he had to study for. Jeff is also feeling the pressure of school commitments. After delivering a new jersey to Travis, we were a unified group wearing red and blue.

On University, a Suburban looked like it might take out Mike Vangeli since he was on point. No one else was threatened, so it was just the fear of witnessing calamity that spooked everyone else. Getting to the lake was without incident after that. Travis was pulling most of the way to the lake and to the sprint point. Youthful vigor means you do not have to count your matches.

I had to chase Travis and Mike and just as I was about to catch them, Mike neutralized the sprint because they came up on a car. Nearing the sprint line Travis comes around and passes me, but does not realize Kevin is coming up and neutralized or not, flies by us.

Mike chastises us again (by neccessity he does it every every week, the ride would not be complete without a transgression being addressed) and we continue on to Flagpole Hill where I wisely sit in on Travis' wheel up the climb (saving matches). Everyone gets to the top pretty much together, then we roll through the following hills where I was really proud of Kevin for his show of defiance climbing the last hill. He used the downhill to get his speed up and attacked really hard on the hill, only fading at the last 1/3 of it. Soon he will have it dialed in to get to the top with enough left to raise his arms.

Caryn was riding tempo the whole ride with Clyde and Greg, so they rode a consistent pace all evening. We had another car violate our space again, this time rolling through the street after we had the green light. A moment where the thought of a defibrilator enters your mind. A dog yelped at us, and Greg said that was scarier than when Mike was almost hit by the Suburban. Interesting. Mike might have to chastise us less often.

Mike was on point again and takes us down the road to the Bath House, and judging by everyone's body language, I think the other route is preferred (by Erykah Badu's house.) Kevin chooses to do another flyer and I had to chase, hard. So we drop most everyone else and I stuck to Kevin's wheel (to show him what a powerful advantage wheelsuckers have in a sprint.) We stop at the 7-11 and wait for Caryn, Clyde and Greg. It becomes apparent that we did not fly that much faster than they did, so we began to think that a mishap occured. We ride back toward the spillway, and here they come. It wasn't until later I found out they had a flat. We did have to wait a few minutes, but compared to our other flat tire changes, this one must have been F1 Scuderia Ferrari quality. Greg had a flat, and after they avoided a recumbant rider on one of those really low bikes, Clyde removed the tire and changed the tube in such an effortless manner, he impressed all. Sometimes the skill of a cyclist manifests itself in small things like that.

Loving? Travis stuck real close to my wheel, really close. I almost forced him to the curb before I realized he was there. Later, seeing him maneuver between us at a stop sign, there should be no worries. He was watching my line and followed right behind. When we finally passed Kevin just before the turn, he sounded frustrated. Each climb he gets farther and farther up it before being caught, nothing like progress! It is too bad that cars on the street between the hills separated Travis and myself, it would have been fun trying to chase him up the next two. He dogged it a little, and when I finally got close, he accelerated strongly and I looked at Greg (middle hill skipper!) and just had to admit defeat. We decided to go back to SMU through Lower Greenville and the M-Streets. A lot like playing Frogger, as Mike said. Abrams, Skillman, Matilda, Greenville, 75, Mockingbird are real annoying to cross!

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