At the start, Mike is getting ready. Just finding a place for his stuff will be a challenge. The track bike he rides has no braze ons - no bottle holders, no good bags. He normally rides on the boards of a velodrome. Riding his track bike will be a real test of his leg speed, pedal stroke and his ability to cram all of the stuff necessary to a 126 mile ride into his back pockets. (Today, Mike will circle back 7 times to pick up something that fell out!)
Mike won't let me take a close up picture of him, he is wearing a mustache today. He felt that since I wear facial hair, he might look a little more manly with a skinny Mexican-looking mustache. (Lets just say that later today we will be chased by a dog. And the dog will not notice his mustache, but will only see his shaved legs and assume that Mike is a chick and go for him. With my hairy legs and heavy beard, the dog knew better than to take on a real man. Chalk up one for manliness.)
It appears that this road is also used for the stagecoach. Or more likely it's an area where there are Amish people. In fact, just a few more miles down the road is a sales lot, where you can pick out your buggy, if that kind of thing interests you.
After turning on Log Cabin road, we spotted a car on the side of the road with a young woman standing near it, talking on a cell phone, and looking frustrated. Mike needed one more good deed to get his "Good Deed Merit Badge" from the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Arrows) club. The tire you see has lost it's tread. Only the belt is left. It will have to be changed.
Since we're on a timed ride, and the clock never stops, I decided to help him get finished. We removed the old tire, replaced it with the new one, and Mike had the lady sign his YMCA handbook on the appropriate page (so he could get his merit badge) in under 15 minutes. Gotta keep moving on a brevet or permanent.
Some guy that Mike knew came up to us and said, "I see you guys ride, too. You have a nice bicycle." Did you notice the singular "bicycle"? There were TWO bicycles in front of him, and he wasn't looking at mine. Then he glanced at mine and added, "You both have nice equipment." We were wearing cycling shorts, so I began to worry that he was no longer talking about bicycles. I was glad to roll out.
Self portrait. We were both so tired when we returned, I forgot to have Mike take my picture. So I took it myself. You can never have too many pictures of yourself. Next year I'm giving a calender to all my friends, and I'll be the picture for all twelve months. This might be my June picture. We'll see.
I normally don't have a picture made of myself without a hat or helmet on my head. You may not have noticed before but I'm bald on top. It makes me feel bad. I often find myself resenting guys with hair. Well, there's nothing I can do about it. But I did ride today with Mike. And he's only 32. While not divulging my age, I'll say that I'm old enough to be his father without having to have met him mom while I was still in high school.
Only one more month, and the R-12 award is mine. YES! Then after that - I can take over the world!