Seemed like the ride that almost wasn't. Planned for months, the day of the event crowned a period of extremely hot, dry weather with almost a full day of rain. Crap! We needed it tho. I tried to cancel. Not planning a rain date, Tom Roberson e-mailed and asked if Sunday might be possible. In the meantime, frame builder Chris Bishop, Kevin Kruger and John Barry didn't get the message and arrived soon after. Over coffee and talking bike (and non-bike) stuff with Barb and I we had a tour of the freshly cleaned shop and decided to go for Sunday. The gentlemen wouldn't be able to come Sunday too, but it was a plan. Barb was working, but I'd planned to ride anyway. ... And we had plenty of food. Great!
Not much notice, and with prior commitments, we managed a group of four, Tom Roberson arriving first. Wayne Bingham shortly after and Harvey Sachs coming in shortly before ten. The bikes were an excellent mix of American builders, the two Baylis road bikes of Tom & Wayne, Harvey's 80's Weigle randonneur and my 30 year old Sachs tourer. The roads were drying out, the sun was out, and shortly we were off.
The ride started with the usual climbing. As the course flattened out and we warmed up, with about sixteen miles in I brought up the option of new roads. The additional miles cut off a big hill and covered some of my favorite local riding. Everyone agreed after finding out the ice cream & snowball stop was still on the route, and I got to introduce the riders to more of why it's so nice riding around our area. The temps were heating up, but with low humidity it was a perfect day for riding.
At Bonkies Ice Cream in New Freedom, PA, Wayne went for color matching his bike with a lime green snowball, Harvey and Tom enjoying ice cream and me with my favorite, a great way to cool off for the final few miles home. Harvey and Tom chose the rail trail, a downhill grade for eight miles, and Wayne & I did the usual route back with a shortcut that included a steep, short climb that momentum cured most of, then back to some great rollers. Wayne & I made such good time, that we arrived only a minute or so after Harvey & Tom.
Barb showed up just after we opened up the house, the grill was turned on and everyone cleaned up for lunch. Soft drinks were the first order followed by Polish dogs & some home made sides. It was a nice ride, short of forty miles, a bit longer than we expected, but everyone seemed to have as good a time as me. I took only a few photos but they are posted at: http://sports.webshots.com/album/578150316xhYaqy
Dan Artley in Parkton, MD