Today Dave suggested to do an alternate treatment of the scheduled club ride. Instead of starting at 8am, we start at 9. And instead of starting in Leroy, we leave from his house in Chili. A savings of 1 1/2 hours of sleep. You don’t come across such deals too often.
Bob, Dr Bill and Robert (?) also gather at Chateau Sorrel. Dave makes sure the cars were parked such that Martha could still park in the garage. The plan is to ride to Leroy via Oatka Trail, pick up Sara and Billy along the way and then hike along the club ride route from there.
We roll out and bike along at a quick but decent pace. A few miles before getting to Oatka Trail Dave and I are riding side by side. A car comes up behind us and hooks loudly with the driver making throw-away gestures as h passes us. This does not suit Dave. The always benign and soft-spoken Mr Lamb makes hand gestures back at the driver and utters words that don’t appear in my copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary nor in my American Heritage Dictionary – I just checked both to be sure. We are all shocked.
Luckily we come upon the start of Oatka Trail and gather the Ture family. The road is still half in the shade which is quite pleasant. I love how it meanders through the trees and the farmland. At the end we turn left for what can only be the climb up Circular Hill. It’s a little steep at start but then evens out meaning that you can stomp up it at a good speed. Billy knows this and spins away right at the bottom. Eventually we catch up with him but only because he eases up on his pace. At the turn onto Route 5 we wait for the group to re-form. Sara is not feeling too well and it appears her bike is not feeling hot either. It makes funny noises. It takes us most of the ride to figure out the cause. The wheel skimping the brake? No. Broken or loose spokes? No. Bottom bracket needs work? No, it’s the cassette. A few of the gears have wiggle room.
At the convenience store in Leroy I remember the yummy peanut butter crackers Cindy brought to our ride in Ellicottville. They have them here too! Together with the very black coffee it makes a lovely little second breakfast. From here the plan is to follow the club ride route which goes around Silver Springs Lake. We speed up and down Bethany Road. During one of those speeding down moments we almost miss our turn and need to give the brakes a bit of a workout. That left turn is following by a little bump of a hill and the junction with Route 19. Some discussion ensues and the group wisdom rules that we turn right onto 19. A few miles further we come upon a village, Wyoming, that we didn’t really expect there. We stop at the village square. It has a bench and a soda machine. Bob, Dave, Robert, and also Dr Bill joins in, stare hard at the maps (three copies of the same one) to figure out where we are, how we got here and what next? Eventually it is determined that we are too far west. Got to be happy that Clark and Lewis never thought that otherwise this fine country would have been half the size it’s now.
We loop around making our way back to Leroy. Just before this town Wayne joins us from a side road. Since his accident Wayne is not much into social riding anymore. So he says “hi!” and he says “bye!”. We get back to the same store we stopped at in the morning. This time it is time for Vitamin water and yes more peanut butter crackers. We huddle around a gas pump because that’s where the shade is. From here we enter Oatka Trail at the other end not going all the way but making a left where we say bye to Sara and Billy who take the way back to Rush. Robert clearly had something nice to drink at our last stop. He’s feeling feisty, does not pulls at the front and comes by to pick up the pace whenever we let it slip. Bob and Dave zigzag us through the bowels of Churchville and Chili back to our starting point. One of the neighborhoods we zigzagged through seemed to have one big garage sale going on.
Back at Dave’s house we see that Martha did get her car back in the garage past ours. We hang there for a little. Dave hotfooting on the blacktop which seems rather hot to stand/walk on without shoes.
We did 80 miles at 19.1 mph.