July 4, 2016

Party Poopers

The club hosts a pancake breakfast every Fourth of July, and I always look forward to the socializing (and the carbs). I don't look forward to getting there at the very beginning; 7:30 on a holiday morning is just too early, even with the promise of pancakes.

Red flower with red, white, and blue stars and ribbons on my bicycle saddle.
The post-pancakes rides don't start till 10 a.m. (or whenever clean-up is finished), so my regular ride buddy and I figured that rolling in at 9 a.m. seemed about right. We've done this before.

We were wrong. Or maybe we didn't get the memo. I arrived a couple of minutes past nine, and the chairs were already put away. The last tables were being clanged shut. The plates had been removed, the fruit was being bagged. I hurried to snag a (hot) pancake bursting with blueberries, which I rolled up and ate taco-style. I found a paper towel to serve as a napkin, and retrieved a couple of strawberries and an orange wedge. Having arrived at 8:55 a.m., my ride buddy had scored a plate but was eating while walking around—the table had been almost literally pulled out from under her.

What was the rush? Disappointed and annoyed, I didn't stick around to find out. Why wait till ten? We ate and ran.

View of rolling hills and vineyards from Arnerich Road, Los Gatos, California
I vaguely remembered that Arnerich Road had a section that was pretty steep. [Yup.] Heart-poppingly steep. 185 beats-per-minute steep. [Confirmed: I can still function at high heart rates.] After that, the remainder of the route was tame; although the climb to the top of Reynolds seemed longer. Right around that bend ... nope. Right around that next bend ... nope.

Persuaded to join me for our town's celebration in a local park, I gave my ride buddy a choice: stay flat or go over a hill. [Bet you can guess her choice. Birds of a feather, we are.]

Boy Scouts Color Guard raising the flag, Oak Meadow Park, Los Gatos, California
The Lions Club runs a barbecue, so they got my support: hamburger and chips. We stood for the national anthem and watched some Boy Scouts raise the flag. After listening to the San Jose Wind Symphony play a few marches, we were on our way. Our timing was perfect to watch a Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad train chug past—the diesel locomotive, not the steam engine, today.

Diesel locomotive 3502, Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, at a train crossing, Oak Meadow Park, Los Gatos, California
Burned off that pancake with 30 miles, 2,240 feet of climbing. Next year, I'll have to get an earlier start to the day. [Sigh.]

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