Why is it that a retired guy, who was aware of the date of the annual Gonzo Good Friday Bike Ride since last November, would wait until three days prior to the ride to take his bike in for Jack Nauss to work his tune-up magic?
No need to provide answers to that question, as Jack Nauss already handled it in his own way. He simply looked at me and laughed Ė Ďnuff said (seems he gets swamped with a lot of people, just like me, a few days before the Easter Week-end every year.)
Oh well, my rear tire was bald and I needed a tune-up badly, plus I hadnít had the bike out since Good Friday, last year. What the heck? I decided to go anyway. (Itís not as if Gordie would ever let something like that hold him back.)
The plan was to meet at the Fall River Timís. I was the first to arrive. Next on site was Claudia and Ron Blakeney (not sure if it was a fruitful discussion or a little spat that was taking place in the parking lot as they unloaded their bikes). Next came Nancy Warnica (with two flat tires, and no pump), followed by Wayne and Linda Banks (Linda enjoys these bike rides to the fullest, as a member of the motorized division). And then, along came a lot of familiar faces with names I cannot attach - an assortment of Sungod Fan Club members. In total, I think there were about a dozen of us.
Without Duffy or Gordie in attendance (Duffy was in Bangor getting ready to rip his body apart at the Kanduskaeg canoe races and Gordie is currently walking home from Georgia), no one saw the need to sound the alarm and get the hell out of there at 8:00 SHARP! So, we dawdled for several minutes in defiance, and left at about 8:07 (it felt good).
The outside temperature was in the 0 degree range with ample sun, dry pavement and not much wind Ė a bit cold, but otherwise ideal. Within minutes of our departure, our assembly of 12 cyclists formed into about 15 individual groups as we headed toward the Enfield Big StopÖÖand food.
The trip out was uneventful, but nonetheless most pleasant, if a bit cold. I canít speak for the rest, other than Wayne, because I didnít see anyone else from our position at the end of the pack. Traffic was great.
The air of camaraderie that reigned supreme throughout the group during the ride to the Big Stop was not subdued in any manner as the gang sat at three separate tables, in various parts of the room, to order up, and gulp down, grub. Good food, as usual though.
By the time we were ready to head back, about an hour later, the air temperature had warmed significantly making the return ride not at all on the cold side. Again, I canít speak for the others as Wayne and I were pulling up the rear again and never did see anyone on the road ahead of us.
I think we spent about 50 minutes biking in each direction (had I biked more last year, I would have remembered how to use my cyclometer, thus I would have been able to produce an accurate number). Two thumbs up for the new start/finish location at Timís as the old location (about a mile further along toward Waverly) must have added, at least, another hour to the journey (well, thatís how it felt). The new distance is about 16-k each way.
Lovely weather for the opening bike ride of the season, with bountiful thanks to Wayne for hanging back to talk to me. We were all on our way home shortly after 11:00.