Monday, April 27, 2009

I Want to Like Granogue I Really Do...I Just Don't

Saturday morning Ktown, Campbell, and me, got up early (well earlier than normal) at 6:50AM hopped in the weekend mobile, as it has become affectionately known, and zoomed off to French Creek for the Saturday morning group ride.  As usual we had to make the requisite, "we're running about 10 minutes late" call to BShow, even though we more or less organized the ride, and we're (read I'm) the reason the ride time was earlier than normal.  BShow shows-up to rides 10-15 minutes early even though he lives in Jersey and its a 1.5 hour drive to French Creek from his Jersey abode (Dix was early too, but he told us he wasn't showing up till 9:00AM so I don't feel bad about making him wait).  When all were present and accounted for, six of us (Ktown, Campbell, BShow, Dix, JMatt, and I) rolled out of the parking lot heading for the Miller's Point side of the park.  We always do the Miller's Point loop first, not so much because its a good warm-up loop, but because its fun and it sucks to do it tired.  After that we headed into the park to "pre-ride" this year's race loop (shhhhhh!!), or at least as much as we thought we knew about this year's race loop.  We picked up Patton along the way somewhere and then the group was seven.  

Though the pace was moderate people were dropping like flies.  Dix had to bail early because he was helping his Dad collect some "free heat" (i.e., fire wood for the winter).  They were gathering wood early this year in an attempt to avoid the hottest summer days.  Ironically, Pennsylvania is having a freak April heat wave and Saturday's high was 91 degrees, imagine that.  Campbell, had been having a rough ride all morning and was fed-up with "swimming up stream" and bailed soon after Dix.  Sometimes you just have bad days.  Patton disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared earlier in the ride.  And after the gruesome Blue downhill (which has no business being part of any "race" course) developed a severe hop in his front wheel and bailed because he felt a taco was imminent.  Then there were three: the unlikely trio of Ktown, JMatt, and I were left to finish the race loop as the mercury continued to rise.  

All in all the ride was great and conditions were perfect.  Ktown, Campbell, and I were able to leave in just enough time to meet my father back at the house and continue work on the two-year bathroom/laundry/hallway remodeling effort.  We've made a lot of progress, but there is still much to do.  I'm looking forward to a day when I can relieve myself without having to walk upstairs first.

With Monday morning here I'm thinking often of the approaching "Escape from Granogue" race.  I'm not exactly looking forward to it.  I want to like Granogue I really do...I just don't.  I don't know what exactly it is about the race that I don't like.  Its held in memory of a former friend of the race organizer and of cycling in general, its raced on some very nice trails, and its hard; all good things.  I usually like the harder courses (i.e., Danville, French Creek, etc.).  I think my dislike of the race has to do with its relatively early placement in the series schedule (its the second race), and the fact that the trails are off limits until race day.  I don't know the trails, and I don't like not knowing the trails.  Its fear of the unknown I guess.  In any case, we will race it, and regardless of the outcome it will be a fun time spent with the team.


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