June 06-07/15: RLCT 345 Kms; Fourteen Riders ++; 5 Hrs 22 + 5 Hrs 42; 1047 Metres + 863 Metres (unadjusted)

One could use many words to describe this year’s tour experience: memorable and eventful, and sobering come to mind; also, unbelievable, fantastic, and fast would be appropriate. The bottom-line, we had a once in twenty-seven year RLCT. Have there ever been two such consecutive ‘perfect weather’ days? Sure, there have been single days, sometimes a Saturday and sometimes a Sunday, but not two perfect days; and with the exception of kilometre # 131 on Saturday when our forward motion abruptly – unexpectedly, alarmingly – came to a crashing stop, it was one for the books. Heck, it was one for the books anyway. Write that down.

Still, not everything was wonderful.

With Kingston in sight and with only a gear change or two left to be made from the big ring to the small chain-ring, it all ended for MG. The ensuing scene was from a TV tour crash except that the strewn bodies and bikes, the scrapes and bruises and breaks were ours. All of this rudely reminding us how dramatically events unfold and how helpless one is in the circumstances. Be safe is an impossibility. It is merely a hope, an empty entreaty.

Fortunately, we all escaped relatively unscathed and were able to resume the journey, save MG. Yes, there was some loss of confidence but no loss of gusto in the pace-line, as the mafia train gathered steam for Kingston. It was as if kilometre #131 required a definitive answer – an affirmative raised finger. And, so, our celebration at Queens did not abate as we quaffed a beer and had a burger on the common-green and had pleasant thoughts of MG under the care of attentive nurses at KGH. That’s how we imagined it anyway. And, it’s true that MG’s complexion was much improved when we next saw him at dinner.

You just should have been there.

Okay, so what was of note:

– perfect weather (temperature and wind direction)

– saddle-time and relative ease of effort (for the most part)

– disciplined pace-line, inspite of the incident

– Raymond and Keith passing Paul (?) as he tried to out race them up the Bollingbroke hill

– kilometre #131; MG with ashen face against the rock wall; MG led away by the firefighter

– dinner at Ban Righ Banquet Hall and Mark’s arrival, arm in sling

– the Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh

– kilometre #40 on the Battersea/Jones Falls Rd (derailleur-hanger explosion); sparks and ribaldry

– kilometre #55 Elgin; waiting on godot; where the minutes of the group ride end

– Woodroffe Ave (what more needs to be said)

Yes, this year’s RLCT had its moments.

A big thanks to Joe for checking in on MG and for gathering up his belongings.

Bye bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; http://www.twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

All of old. Nothing else "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."SB

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” SB

Ready to Duel at Last Duel Park

Ready to Duel at Last Duel Park