I was late to the Ride for Rick because I got lost. I missed the 313 turn-off, ended up on 67 instead of 63, and as a non-native, getting lost in CT is still something that happens to me when I don't prepare properly.
I was about 5 minutes late when I parked the car and by the time I used the facilities, I was well behind any of the riders. How far behind ?
20 minutes. That is, it took me 20 minutes to catch the very last person on the 50 mile ride.
I really wanted to ride with other people. I never get to ride with other people- 95% of my rides are alone. I left with plenty of time, but hey, it was my fault I was late. I spent 2:17 minutes riding 48.5 or so miles (I don't have a computer at the moment) doing one thing- chasing tire tracks.
It had been raining for about 24 hours, but the great thing was the road was wet, but not WET. So I could see tire tracks the whole time, right from the very start. It's really a shame that I didn't have all my prep-work done. I had packed my bike in the car and my gear, but the bottom line is by not planning the drive, I had - Had what ?
Actually, I had a very good workout, even if it wasn't very social. Exactly what I need for Florida, where I'll come out of transition trailing well, trailing an awful lot of people. Unlike Florida, the 50 mile route Eric Hodska laid out (Eric, who created the idea for this event, who is just a guy with a great big heart and the ability to follow throw on anything he sets his mind to), is a conundrum of hills. You climb early, and you climb often (although you fly at the end of the ride).
I rode the whole time, trying to catch the front group. Why ? Because I can't help myself and I prefer my challenges to be impossible ? Let's face it, I'm not going to catch real cyclists who start out of the parking lot with more than a thirty second lead. I knew I wasn't going to catch the really good riders, but the chase ? Yeah, that was a good thing.
Charity ride or not- let's face it, the real important thing here is raising money for a great cause- I need to be getting my head around the Ironman in 6 weeks.
This ride might have been lonely. In the fog, maybe even dicey. But in the end- just what I needed...
I didn't catch the lead group. But I basically caught everyone else, and I got to ride in a way I'd never otherwise ride that course. Next year ? I get there half an hour early...