September 3, 2018

Mellow Fellows

“You're doing great!” he said, as if I needed encouragement.

Where do I go, with that? I simply smiled. [You have no idea, do you?] I mean, I'm sure my fellow rider meant well.

I wanted a long-ish ride today, and opted for the only “flat” route on our club's calendar.

The riders-who-do-hills and the riders-who-do-not rarely mix it up in our club. Most of the faces were as unfamiliar to me as mine was to them.

We rode out to the Calero Reservoir, where we were approached by a confused minivan driver seeking Mt. Umunhum. [Which you could see, in the smoky distance, from where we stood.] After several cyclists gamely explained how to get there from here (with more turns than she could fathom), I said “Point your navigation system at Hicks Road, and that will take you there.”

I've been part of this movie before. These folks ride well enough, single-file, on a trail. On the road? They're all over the lane, only occasionally taking the hint that “car back” means single-up, and dashing the hopes of any motorist who planned to turn right on red at every traffic signal.

One rider gently chided me for passing him on the right. I apologized, and gently explained that it's hard to pass him on the left when he's not staying to the right. As in, about eight feet from the curb. I take that as comfort with riding two-abreast. Evidently I should not. [I gave him a wide berth, thereafter.]

Maybe I was just cranky today. When I set out, one of the first things I saw was a discarded cigarette that had burned itself out on top of a dried-up pile of needles shed by a redwood tree. How lucky are we that they didn't catch fire! How stupid do you have to be to toss a burning cigarette into the gutter? That's beyond careless.

When we stopped for a snack break, I approached a new-to-the-club rider. “Before we leave, let me help you adjust your helmet.” None of the other dozen riders in our group noticed, apparently, that her helmet was completely askew and tilted back on her head. “That feels much better!” she exclaimed.

It's the little things.

I tacked on a moderate hill climb at the end, finishing with 41 miles and 1,160 feet of climbing.

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