Sunday, February 24, 2013

Palm Harbor, FL. February 22-23, 2013

On Fridays Dianne goes to the gym, then plays tennis in the morning; and plays Scrabble with her club in the afternoon. I can live with that!  She dropped me off at the Pinellas Rail Trail before she went to the gym, picked me up after I did my long run for the week, 9 miles. I recovered while she played her tennis match.

We both played Scrabble with her club--it's always fun to see her sister Jan and the rest of her Scrabbling friends when I come here. Another tradition...

Saturday morning we headed out to Chainwheel Drive to meet her bike club for a 50 mile ride. This is a very large club--there were well over 100 cyclists there this morning.... First the A+ group took off--20 riders who wanted to ride at 24 MPH. Then the A ride (22 MPH), the B+ ride (20 MPH), and our group, the B ride, which was supposed to maintain 18 MPH. There was also a C ride, but I did not look back to see how many there were behind us.

I had to sign a waiver, holding the Suncoast Cycling Club not responsible for any stupid thing I might do... Ray (watching me sign) passed out route maps to those who needed them, filed my waiver, and led us on the B ride. We rolled along at 18 miles an hour, never wavering. We passed a bald eagle perched at the top of a dead tree, but I could not stop to take a photo--I was in the middle of the pack and we were now at 19 MPH.

All too soon we were riding at 20 MPH, then 21--it was like riding with 30 Freds! They dropped me at 21 MPH, but Dianne, Ray and Anthony stayed back to ride at 18, as promised. It was when Ray and Anthony were done their "pull" that the speed increased.

We had a rest stop at 25 miles into our ride, and there I met Mark, a member of Suncoast Cycling Club. He follows this blog and whenever Dianne misses a couple of club rides he looks here first, and usually finds her! At the rest stop it started spitting a little rain, and the wind picked up, so some of us decided to take a shorter route. Dianne and I were among them, and after fighting a headwind for 15 miles we were back home and done for the day.

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