July 30/17: 105 Kms; 3 Hrs 15; 525 Metres; Seven Riders

Hello – that was another great morning. It’s just too bad my legs weren’t as fresh today as they were yesterday. They were as tight as a Lambeg Drum on the Twelfth of July. To-day, I’m satiated, not wanting more, having had, perhaps, too much of a good thing. Day two always dips into the reserves; and, if the overnight recovery is not complete, then the tank is soon empty.

Of course, we all experience this in different ways, or not at all. For example, one of our number, a night owl, thrives on late nights and early mornings. At least, that’s how it seemed to-day when the lingering effects of the wee hours were inconsequential to performance. But, there may be more to the story than we know, since a ‘jiffy’ bag was seen at the start. However, this may have simply been an innocuous black shoe bag, and not have contained anything so infamous as the TUE’s in ‘Wiggin’s’ jiffy bag.

But, all that aside, it was morning of light winds and full sunshine that greeted us at Stinsons, where we had the pleasure of meeting a guest rider by the name of DD from Pakenham; and, no slouch was he – as he cycled a vintage alloy Bauer from the 80’s, with Shimano 600 derailleurs, down tube shifters and triple crank. Showing yet again that no matter the bicycle – light or heavy, fancy of plain, new or vintage – one still has to pedal the damn thing. Now, don’t get me wrong, a fancy bike (I have one) is a lovely thing; but at the end of the day, it’s the rider not the bike. Still, I won’t be riding my own vintage Reynolds 853, Hugh Black anytime soon.

As for the ride and the route, as always, you get what you give. It was a ride to nowhere really, a meander, that offered the prospect of an early return home if the tour director would but listen to the entreaties. But, the TD knows best, or thinks he knows best. So, we pedalled on past several junctions until there was no option but to continue on the planned route. And, like squabbling kids on a long car journey asking are we there yet, we arrived back at Stinsons to the relief of all, including the TD. You know, you just should have been there.

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Okay, Ride your bike! Bye-bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?          Mary Oliver