In an effort to get the most out of my Spring Break I decided to use the last three days doing the things I love to do best. NO…not that….!!!! I mean riding my bike, geocaching and napping.
Friday I got permission from Mrs. Bagby to go riding with RABA’s (Richmond Area Bike Association) Fridays at Hylas ride. I geared up and sped over to the church in Hylas (it’s where Pouncey Tract and Ashland Road cross) where we were going to meet. Already there was Dennis and Dan who I have ridden with before. Great guys the both of them. Several other guys, my age or older, appeared later and we took off down Pouncey Tract.
Here’s the problem. All of the RABA rides are rated according to the pace. A+ pace is the fastest and D would be the slowest. I’m about a B pace (15-16 mph) but the ride was rated as a B+ pace (16-18 mph) so I knew this would be quick for me. I was right. I never knew guys 55 or older could ride a bike so fast. All of these guys have been riding for years together and have literally thousands of miles in their legs. I did a pretty good job hanging in there and even led for awhile. When we got to a stretch of hills I started to lag a bit. Being the biggest dude on the road by a good 60 pounds puts me at a gravitational disadvantage. Dan was great though and hung back with while I caught up with the pack at a store stop. The group had planned on doing around 34 miles but I only wanted to do around 30. Luckily Joe had the same idea so we both split off from the group and headed back to Hylas.
Turns out Joe was a retired mathematics professor from the University of Richmond. He was really great to ride with and had a lot of neat stories. Once we got back to our cars we said our “goodbyes” and I headed home to mow the lawn and do some touch-up painting around the house. Thanks to Dan, Dennis and Joe, I was actually able to ride at a B+ pace despite the hills. My fastest pace ever was over my 15 mile course at home at an average of 17.4 mph. Not bad for 270 pound geezer.
Friday night we had dinner with Lynn’s brother Brian and his wife Vicky at the Positive Vibe Cafe. It was relaxing and tasty!! We caught up on our lives and laughed so hard. Brian and Vicky are awesome human beings.
Saturday we were meeting with friends, Don and Renea for a geocaching numbers run. Our plan was to try to get 100 caches in one day around the Richmond area. This wouldn’t have possible in prior years because all four of us were fanatical about getting any new geocaches in the area as soon as it was published.
We met around 7:30 AM in Short Pump to start our adventure and were making pretty good progress. Don drove and I called out the next cache and navigated. It was slow going though and after awhile it was apparent that we would not make a 100. As we worked out way around and in the city we came up a BBQ place that had Don and Renea salivating as soon as they saw it. The Alamo BBQ restaurant in Shockoe at 22nd and Jefferson(I think) lived up to their praise!!! I think it was game over at that point. We relaxed and had the most amazing bbq this side of North Carolina. YUM!!!
At around 5:30 or so and after not finding a couple of caches because they were missing, we all started making tired noises. We headed back to our car in Short Pump and parted tired and famished. It was a fun but tiring day. We ended up getting only 46 geocaches but I would trade the day for 1000 geocaches.
This morning I was going to ride with my friend and fellow teacher, Steven, but Lynn expressed interest in riding so we biked my 22 mile route around West Creek/Manakin/River Road. Lynn had some extended time off the bike and was rusty so we went at a leisurely pace. We’re riding the Powhatan Historic Ride next week with Joel and Steven which is 32 miles and Lynn wanted to test her pedaling out. Joel was SUPPOSED to go with us this morning but texted me at 3:00 AM suffering leg cramps from a 44 mile jaunt the previous day.
The ride was deliciously slow and the views were amazing. I feel fortunate that I can jump on my bike and after I somewhat sketchy 3 miles on Patterson Avenue be in West Creek and horse farm country in Goochland. It makes easier to bike.
When we got back I was very tired so we ate an early lunch and I napped while Lynn went grocery shopping.
The last three days were fun, exhausting and gratifying. I wrote in prior posts how I savor hiking and biking solo sometimes. All things considered over the past few days it was the people I was with that made the adventures so enjoyable. Biking and geocaching are just the vehicle by which we enjoy our friends. My new geezer friends during the RABA rides were so interesting and kind. Geocaching with Renea and Don is always an adventure. We do more laughing and catching up then caching. The truth be known that is what probably slowed us down so much.
The ride with Lynn this morning was so peaceful and contemplative. I hope and pray we have many more years together to hike, bike and take long naps. That would be my lottery win.