I'll start off the bat by saying that we tend to not like riding with people we don't know on centuries. Not because we're not friendly, but because as people get tired, their bad habits magnify. If I know you, I know what you'll probably do in a situation and can be prepared. If I don't know you, I don't know what your skill level is, and it's amazing how that can cause crashes and stuff. Hitting the pavement in my book is just all bad.
Ok, so the three musketeers (Snottie, Spittie, and Fartie... we used to have a fourth, but he turned into Workie) amassed for the start, later than the rest of the packs, but we had dinner reservations at 5 and didnt want to have to hang around for hours afterwards. Leonardtown is a beautiful little town that has been invaded by DC. Now its a beautiful little town, with tons of traffic. I know Leonardtown from my running days when I used to do a metric marathon there in prep for fall 'thons. It's just flat ass hilly.
So we started out on wet roads and humidity in the 90%s. First thing J asked was did I have my inhaler. Nope. But I did have extra glasses for her as she always forgets something. Things were pretty uneventful, we went uuuupppp and dooooowwwwn, and uuuuppp and doooowwwn, and sometimes up and down. It was beautiful. Traffic was baaad. Wide shoulders for the Amish carriages were great.
To make matters really funny, there was a huge, I mean HUGE motorcross race on the route. Nascar has nothing on this crowd. Well, we had to traverse on the same road that the people getting to the race did. But... we had that wide shoulder. So, Cliff went up ahead(J and I figured he was giving them all the finger as he went by), and J and I rode together. I never knew long hills could be so much fun. Lets just say that the favorite cold beverages were already being inbibed, and maybe a wee bit of the alternative cigarettes. Guys were hanging out vans, whooping and hollering at us. We were dying of laughter. This went on for MILES. Finally we had to make a left turn, and the cars were great about letting us in to go. That was a top ten in my week.
At mile 50 or so we got a passenger. The not nice kind. The kind that doesn't ask if he can join you, but does and then proceeds to wheel suck.Cliff dropped back and J and I took turns at the front doing 22, 23, 24 mph pulls. Unfortunately we couldn't drop him. Got to the stop, and it was clear that he was now "ours."
When we pulled out, J dropped back to talk to the dude. The net result was that she told him that he could stay with us, but we don't have passengers, he was going to have to work. At mile 70 or so, I noticed that he was in the small ring, cross chained to the hardest gear in the back and kept trying to shift to find more gears. Not a good sign...
At mile 89 rest stop we wanted to get in and out real quick. The stop was in a neighborhood on a chip seal road.Mounds of gravel at the entrance. I notice these things. Coming out, I stopped at the stop sign. Cliff stopped at the stop sign. J stopped at the stop sign and I looked back and I knew that dufus was going to crash. Yep, right into Cliff. Even landed on Cliff to soften the fall. Right onto Cliff's bad shoulder. Jammed the rear deraileur into the spokes, and while we got it so Cliff could ride the bike back, he had 2 gears and essentially no rear brake on the way in.
Yeah, and the jerk sucked off us, and then disappeared. Cliff is probably going to need a new derailueur, and I think his rim is bent. Nice.
But we made it with bonus miles to spare. Then got cleaned up and J treated us with some of her running "earnings" to dinner at Cafe des Artists in town. Nice place, good food, great wine list and all very reasonable. Not a bad way to end an eventful day!
Off to go ride, Ashland here I come!