Every once in awhile when you’re feeling like you’re the only person on the planet, and all your friends have forsaken you for other endeavors or friends, you’re reminded that there are some people who remain true and close no matter what. I was reminded of this fact on Friday when, on our day off from work, Diane, Jeff, Michael, and I spent the day together just hanging out. I found that I could ride at the pace of riders who are less obsessed than me (what was the term we chose? “Recreational riders”?) without being bothered by a sense of urgency to go fast. Part of the reason I was so patient was because I rode the Beast. For some reason, once I get on my road bike, I just can’t stop myself from speeding, even when I want to go slower for someone. Anyway, I think, also it was just nice to ride with friends and chat. Not every day needs to be blisteringly fast and painful exercise, dammit! And I learned that on Friday.
It was nice to show Jeff and Diane some of the beauty of the roads in the valley. Our route was 17 miles, going from Deep Lock Quarry up Major Road. Then, 303 to Black, with a nice swooping drop back into the valley via Columbia. (I think I was trying to show Diane why I’m always talking about fearing going fast.) We then went down Riverview all the way to Bolanz to stop at Szalay’s for corn-on-the-cob, fresh lemonade, and the other three enjoyed sundaes (I did not partake).
We took the towpath back, which I hadn’t been on since Thanksgiving when the conditions were less than ideal and my fender-less wheels relentlessly splattered mud on my back and face. It was a much nicer ride this time under shady trees and cool low 70-ish degree weather. I frequently forget how nice the towpath is since my snobbery against unpaved trails usually keeps me away (Surly Cross Check?). It actually wasn’t too busy along the trail–it must have been due to the holidays.
After the ride, we went back to my place and enjoyed hamburgers (provided by Michael’s stash from his share of the “family cow”) and potato salad in front of a fire in my back yard. I opened two bottles of wine, sharing my Arrowhead Chambourcin (upstate NY) and Emerine’s Seduction. We sat around the fire, talked, and listened to the sound of individuals blowing off fireworks around town. It was very pleasant and I haven’t had that much fun just hanging out in a long time. Thanks, guys!!
Sunday Michael and I went for a 62-mile ride on the tandem. We rode from Rittman to Doylestown, taking what Michael calls the Alp d’Huez of Wayne County–Doylestown Road. It was a bit of a climb. We had taken Wall Road (off Route 57 in Wadsworth) as a warm up. Then we followed the route through Rogue’s Hollow that we took on the Tandem Weekend to Clinton. In Clinton, we took the towpath, intending to use it to get to Canal Fulton. But, alas, we went the wrong way and ended up 4 miles in the wrong direction. Which we ended up taking back 4 miles. When we finally did get to Canal Fulton, we were a little behind schedule (I had to be at my parents’ house) so we didn’t get to stick to our original plan of heading to Apple Creek. Instead, we lunched in Dalton, and then rambled around about Orrville way. It was a nice day, despite having to cut our route short.
Today, I went domestic and mowed my lawn (it was long overdue) and gave my flowering plants some “plant food” since I didn’t realize I was supposed to do this once a week and some of my plants are not flowering as much as they should. I just kind of hung around the house after that, drank a couple of beers, and read a book. It was a nice relaxing weekend… and tomorrow after a blissful commute by bike to work, I am going to have to face that pressing deadline for my manual. July 16th. Ack. I hate writing to a deadline. Thus, I suppose, why I’ve never become a novelist or anything else professionally with writing…
Anyway, I hope everyone else had a great holiday!