Ride Leader: Blake Altman
Date: January 21, 2017
Ride Name: Hidden Amish
Ride Distance: 46 Miles
Average Speed of the Ride: 18.1 (at the back)
Ride Class: AA/3 Sport
Mechanical Issues: Dropped chain, 2 Flat tires, 2 shift cables broken
Mishaps: One lost rider
Weather: 50 degrees, cloudy, some fog
Guest Riders: John Clark, Roland (can’t read last name)
Member Riders: Brad Francisco, Scott Walker, Michael Blaine, Steve Koegle, Carole Harris
Let’s start with the mechanical issues in chronological order: Roland dropped his chain on the big hill on Trinity Church Rd., next Brad had a flat, then Steve’s rear shift cable broke, after that John had a flat, and finally Carol’s front shift cable broke. The dropped chain was no big deal except Roland had to turn around get enough speed to get restarted on the hill. The flats were repaired without issues. Steve and Brad replaced Steve’s shift cable with Brad’s spare at the rest stop; they made short work of that. We didn’t bother to try and fix Carol’s shift cable since we were near the end and it was only the front shifting. She had been having problems with shifting and was planning to head to Bike Doctor after the ride anyways.
And now we discuss the actual ride. The weather was less than inspiring with very wet roads at the start (they did start to dry-out by the end). Fortunately it was relatively warm or else the ride would have been a no go. We all stayed pretty much together though-out the ride with the exception of the last 10 miles or so. We started some splitting on the hills near the end and then Scott let me know Carol was falling back; I’m assuming this happened because she was trying to diagnose her front shifter problem. I waited for her and then the two of us proceeded together until the end. With one exception we never saw the rest of the riders again until the end. The exception was I saw a rider who I thought was Roland off in the distance on Golden Beach Rd.
Carol and I had an uneventful return to the end. Once we got there the question was, where is Roland? No one knew. Carol and I didn’t see him except for my brief sighting on Golden Beach. Steve and Roland had driven to the ride start together and Steve discovered that Roland had left his phone in the car. Oh no! We had no way to contact him and he had no way to contact us. Steve drove off in search of him but couldn’t find him after 6 miles of back-tracking which meant that Roland was off-route. With no other options, Steve returned to the start to wait and the rest of us headed for home. Roland called me later to let me know that he had made it back after mistakenly turning off-route, getting some bad directions, and then getting the right directions and finally returning to the start with 10 extra miles.
Given the weather, all the mechanical issues, and Roland getting lost I still enjoyed the ride. Hopefully everyone else enjoyed it too.
Once I got home I had to hose-off my bike – what a mess!