Over the holidays, we meet with the cycling group named “The Cyclones” for some holiday cheer when the topic of Robert's first organized bike ride came up.
The summer of 2008, Robert had only been riding for about six months when I drug him over to Wichita Falls, Texas for the Hotter than hell one hundred. I decided to let him off easy and we opted for the sixty five mile route versus the hundred miler, after all, he had only been riding for six months.
We showed up with the other ten thousand riders wearing our matching Italian jerseys. We were amazed with the fly over jets and the canon ball that started the race.
As a new rider, Robert wasn’t aware of rider etiquette and began swerving in and out of the packs, speeding up fast and then slowing down. This was after our recent European trip and he began yelling “bonjourno” to everyone. He thought people would love his diverse language. This time, there was a little fellow who though Robert cursed him out and wanted to start of fight on the side of the road.
Robert likes to taunt riders and will say to me, “Come on baby, let's go catch em”. Then he will proceed to ride as fast as he can and then bask in the glory of having a girl (that would be me) pass a bunch of guys in a pack.
It is at this time that he starts to learn a valuable lesson in conserving energy. It is difficult to save some in the fuel tank if you speed up, slow down, speed up again.
Mile fifty approaches and we have averaged 21 MPH. YES!
Mile 58, Robert starts complaining about leg cramps. We ride through the air force field. The museum planes and the hundreds of boot campers are enough to distract us for a few more miles. On or about mile 60, Robert has to get off his bike.
Cynthia, a fellow cyclone, asked me what I said and what I did next.
What could I do? What could I say? His legs would not move. I had to just sit on my bike and wait while my overall average slipped away. I did not say a word but I was pissed. My average was slipping away.
In the end, it was not that bad. We finished 65 miles with an 18.9 average. I got my miles and Robert finished his first organized bike ride.