Monday, March 14, 2016

Mar-09: Ambassador Tour 210

Actually, just my 'Warrenton + Egypt Mtn 210k perm' with my friend BobB.  (Hmmn, just noticed that the controls are not indicated on that RWGPS map -- maybe I'll edit it one of these days and include the icons for the controls.)

When we got to the first intermediate control at Epsom, approx mile 36.7, one of the regular customers, as we dismounted, asked if we were aware of four cyclists that had been recently hit down in Johnston County.

Bob and I responded simultaneously, "yes."

And since I recognized the regular from previous control visits, I continued, "all four of them are our friends, and I know that you've met the woman."

A shocked and sad face greeted those words.

We chatted for a bit.  I asked him to please pass on to his friends that he had met at least one of those four cyclists, the woman, and to please let those friends know that, from his experience, she was a nice person, and that the cyclists he had met seemed to be reasonable people, regular people.

He added, "you are regular people; the only difference being that you ride your bicycles a long way." 
Bob & I went in to get our respective receipts.  As I checked out, I mentioned the four cyclists to the clerk.  I knew that he, too, had met Lynn, even more times than the regular customer outside.  I was pretty sure he would recall Lynn.  He did.  Emotion was beginning to well-up in his eyes.  I asked him to pass on to his friends that cyclists were reasonable and regular people with family and jobs and all that; the only distinguishing thing being that we rode our bicycles long distances.


The next intermediate control, ignoring the info control in Drewry, was in Warrenton.  On this ride, we went to the Subway sandwich shop.

One of the behind-the-counter employees asked me where my wife was.  I corrected, ex-wife.  She expressed disappointment for me.  I explained that we had been divorced for several years, but we were still friends, as witnessed by our doing these long bike rides together.  [Or more likely, "together."  But I didn't explain the difference between together and "together" -- North Carolina randonneurs ought to understand.  Anyone that has ever looked up our respective results ought to understand.  Anyway, back to the story.]  

As there was a line forming behind me, I did not do a "please tell your friends" routine.


The afternoon non-info-control was again at Epsom.  The same regular customer was still there.  Actually, he indicated that he had left, done some errands, and then returned, claiming the c-store was the "Epsom Walmart" where everyone eventually came.  We chatted some more, including that one of the nearby neighbors, about aged 80, rode his three-wheeled bicycle around the area for about 7 or so miles every day, and if he came across cans or bottles along the way, he would pick them up and put them in the front basket.  [Although I could have referred to the three-wheeler as a tricycle, have you ever checked the general statutes in your state?  I expect that you'll find that, legally, tricycles are bicycles.]

There was a different clerk at the store.  Busy line of customers.  I did not do a "please tell your friends routine".  Besides, I didn't recognize the woman.  And that is mighty strange, because she asked me for my control card without prompting.  Maybe I need to pay better attention to the clerks. 

Bob and I left and finished our ride.


Uh-huh, a simple "finished our ride" to refer to the remaining 47 or so miles into that howling headwind.  Bob is training to do a x-continental Northern PAC Tour this summer; I therefore graciously allowed him to lead most of the second half of the ride.  Hey, I had magnanimously led the entire first 64 miles, where, in "Fixie Pixie" words, we had been feeling really good.  Others might say that we had had a howling tailwind for those outbound miles.

Eddington Cycling Number:
After this ride:  125.
Meaning that I have completed at least 125 different rides that were at least 125 miles long.

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