Sunday morning we went back for more... this ride was called the Three Bridges ride. We rode down to Clearwater and rode the causeway bridges. I kept up OK at 15, then 17, then 18 MPH. But when they ramped it up to 21 MPH I lagged behind. Not too far behind, until I stopped to take off my jacket. After that I did not catch up until the rest stop. At the rest stop (where everyone else had been resting for a while) I ate a protein bar and was not ready to go when everyone saddled up. I fell behind shortly after we turned and headed into the wind (still at greater than 20 MPH) but a nice man named Dusty saw that I was struggling and backed off from the group to allow me to draft behind him all the way to Dunedin. I was grateful for that--I was resigned to being dropped and straggling home alone, although I knew that sooner or later Dianne would have come back for me. After we got home Dianne told me he is Michael Rhodes, former Olympic team cyclist, elite bike racer, and one of the strongest riders in the club. Again, how nice of him to notice I was having trouble and compromise his own ride to help me along. The day's mileage: 35.
Dianne and I took showers, ate, got in one quick game of Scrabble and then headed out (in the car this time) to pick up Jan and go to Tarpon Springs Art Center to see "The Gondoliers" a very silly Gilbert and Sullivan operetta put on by the community theatre. This forced me to sit still for 2 1/2 hours, which at this point was a good thing. We had dinner with Dianne's biking buddy Ruth, then called it a (very long) day.
This morning when I packed up my bike to ship it home I found the rear tire totally flat. There was a small wire imbedded in it.... a slow leak could account for some of my slow progress yesterday--I remember thinking that I was so tired that it felt like I was riding on flat tires! (of course nobody could notice it because nobody was behind me!).