On Sunday, I rode my final ride of 2009. Well, at least on the road. I did participate in Coach Tim’s indoor trainer class last night, but the next time I hit the open road it will be 2010. This most likely will be my final blog of 2009 as well so I better mix in a little reflection.
Before I talk about the ride, I want to discuss two of my 2009 goals, which were to spend less time riding alone and ending more rides with coffee and friends. I definitely accomplished that. I’ve ridden on more group rides that ended with coffee this year then ever.
That leads me to Sunday. I was meeting Carmen, David, and Pat at Flying Goat for coffee followed by a ride. There might have been a few more of us but the threat of rain kept some members of our group safely tucked into their beds. I was the last to arrive and when I did I could see them already laughing through the window. This was going to be a great day.
The only serious discussion of the day was just before we rolled. I had picked out a 45 mile route and Carmen (who’s new nickname is Ms. Type A) was hoping for 60. We settled on 50 miles at an easy pace. With that settled, we were off.
It had rained hard during the night, although not during our ride. We decided to take the bike path out of town, which follows a lovely creek. As we followed the creek, now full with water, we simply rolled along, chatting about everything and trying not to get to wet and dirty from the road spray.
Now remember, this is supposed to be the off season so this should be an easy ride. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t goof around. For instance, going for the KOM (king of the mountain) on a hill that is about half a mile in length and gains less then 200 feet in elevation.
It was Pat and Carmen that started it. We hit this small hill, I mean really small, and Pat and Carmen took off. David also grabbed Pat’s wheel but he didn’t know it. At the last minute Pat noticed David and sprinted to the top. As Pat went over the top, he threw his arms up in victory and did the whole “rocking the baby motion” like he had just won a Tour de France stage. It was hilarious.
We continued the ride and decided to sprint for the Healdsburg city limit sign. Pat and I lifted the pace but David and Carmen decided not to play. As Pat and I rode, we kept looking for the sign to launch our attack. We didn’t see it so finally we assumed there wasn’t one. Just as we sat up and relaxed, I looked to the right and there’s the sign. Since my wheel was about 2 inches ahead of Pat’s, I immediately threw my arms up in victory.
This is how the ride continued. We where simply having fun. There was the time Pat and I decided to chase down two riders in front of us and after working really hard they stopped just as we were about to pass. At another point, Pat and I were having a very nice chat when he said “Excuse me for a moment” and took off. I thought “what the hell,” until I looked up and saw the Windsor city limit sign just ahead. Earlier in the ride, Pat and David rode ahead of us, hid as Carmen and I passed, and then caught us from behind.
Finally, it was back to Flying Goat for the post-ride coffees, more laughs, and home made cinnamon rolls (thanks David).
In the end, I have to say that I accomplished my most important goal in 2009, which was remembering why I love cycling in the first place. Between the great rides and even greater people, it was my best cycling year yet.
I can’t wait to see what 2010 has to offer.