Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Halloween Scare

Kenner Bend Anchorage

There are certain universal truths in this world. When a doctor says you might feel a slight pinch, everyone knows to brace for broken-bone pain. The same goes for a toothy TV personality standing in front of a weather map telling you it may be a little breezy in the morning. Hang on to your hats. Officially, the NWS observation for N.O. Int'l Airport at 5:53 said winds were south at 10, and that was expected to worsen as a front approached. (After the ride, I checked the 8:53 observation: S at 17 with gusts to 28.)  At the start, one of the guys who rides from Kenner to meet the group just shook his head and said, "The wind."

Time to Clip-in
I started near the front of the group, right behind Brian B.  and Keith McD. They rode side by side to the playground, and then Keith pulled all the way to the big bend by the country club. Brian took a very brief pull, telling me he was saving himself for the ride in. I spent what I tried to judge as the absolute minimum time on front which could still be considered a pull by the generous and then got off. Well,  a couple of guys go by, then Brian and Keith, and then nothing. A big gap. I look over my shoulder and see HL on the front of the long train of riders. No way am I letting HL force me into this rotation especially not in front of him, so I just keep pedaling in the left lane. Eventually HL goes by, and then, of course,  nobody is interested in letting me in and I end up on the very back of about 18 riders, 14 of whom are in the gutter getting absolutely no draft.

For the next few miles I was stuck in the yo-yo at the back until people starting getting pinched off, and I found myself repeatedly having to go around riders and accelerating to get back onto the group. Near the parish line, the group was splintered into four or five pieces, and I ended up on Triceps 1 Dave's wheel with a few others in what I think was the first chase group. I don't know who was in front of Triceps Dave, it was nighttime. Suddenly Dave said, "Left, LEFT, LEFT!"  Then I heard the awful, awful sound of a wheel locking up and a woman screaming in terror.

That was about enough excitement for me for one morning, so I dropped down into the Little Dip with Dave. I still don't know who the rider was in front of Dave or why he was in the left lane.

I do know that at the parish line where this happened, the backdrop from which an oncoming headlight must be distinguished is a thousand lights on the several ships moored at the Ama Anchorage, which, of course, is why you stay out of the left lane. I also know I will never again ride in the dark with this group.

Calling it a training ride is a misnomer. It is a race, and racing in the dark in a howling crosswind on ten feet of asphalt, five feet of which is the right-of-way of oncoming cyclists is just plain idiotic.

I learned later in the day it was Mignon who the group put at risk. She said the group should stop riding like a bunch of jackasses.

That's much too kind. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Found and Lost

The puzzling news was received from Rich at 4:21 this morning in the form of a photo embedded in an email with the subject line "Toast."

Some would speculate Page's kind assistance in  fiddling with Rich's equipment to determine it was, as she reported, "still functioning," had somehow turned his Garmin to toast. But who could be certain? And what would it matter?

What matters is no satellite time.

Today's ride was well attended and very dark all the way to the parish line. No orange, but making a return appearance after a noted absence was Woody.  Also present was HL, but he seemed to be in Papa mode. By the way, you may get a photo today from Rich depicting Vega receiving a thigh massage while splayed out on the asphalt.

Although unknown to me until later, Randy had a flat early on and, I presume, changed it alone in the dark. Near the country club a group heading east went by and screamed something derogatory, "crazies," I think. But I know we weren't acting any crazier than usual.

The ride was fast but pleasant enough with no surges to speak of and everyone working most of the way out and back. I got a little stressed at one point when the group spotted a cyclist maybe a half mile up the road which some thought was Woody, who had started back before everyone else. The effort to catch the lone rider, which indeed turned out to be Woody, had us doing 26/27 into the wind for an extended stretch.

Daylight savings time starts this Sunday so I should feel safer on Tues/Thurs mornings for a while. Actually I witnessed some evidence of riders being safe, or at least courteous, this morning. An oncoming cyclist cupped his hand over his headlight as he passed us. And then from our group there were the resounding cries, when appropriate, of BOAT SODS.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lost and Found

Placid Sunrise at the Swim Hole - Lake Pontchartrain
The National Weather Service's 6:00 am observations at Lakefront Airport showed clear skies, 59 degrees, and a mild southeast wind at 3 -- late October in New Orleans at its finest. I drove past the coffee shop on Harrison Ave. on my way to Killdeer St., and the activity at the outside tables and in the parking lot, suggested there would be a large peleton for the Giro. Big Rich rides out from Uptown and his final pre-ride preparation is made at the small gazebo on Beauregard Ave., just north of Killdeer. That's where I found him, drinking the last of a store-bought beverage, his recently removed shoes placed neatly by his side on the concrete bench. He was singularly upbeat, commenting on the beautiful morning and how the new bright-white shoes might be the answer to his bothersome foot pain. His cheery attitude was nice to see. We couldn't know that things would soon go all wrong for him.

We went to the rise that Rich will not cross at the west side of the Swim Hole to wait for the group. Suddenly I noticed a big light-colored SUV coming at us, its driver had his head and most of his shoulders stuck out of the window and was talking a mile a minute. It was Keith. He looked like he just woke up, but his hair was surprisingly well coiffed. I didn't understand a single word he uttered as he rolled past us toward the east. Terry Riedl was right there and I asked, "What did he say?" "I have no idea," said Terry.

The group was about 45 strong and it didn't take long for the pace to quicken once we got on Hayne. Maybe three miles down Hayne, Rich caught a flat. About eight of us stopped, and it looked as if the group had continued on. Rich took a little extra time with the flat because he couldn't get his CO2 cartridge to bite on the valve stem. Randy cut the top off of a valve stem cap, which acted like an extension and proved to be the fix.

Keith handles Rich's bike to assist
Once we got started again we found the group stopped on a side street about 1/2 mile up the road. From there, it was a typical ride with a sprint at the end of Hayne, and hectic racing coming off 510 all the way to Chef Menteur Hwy. Turning east onto Chef, Rich, looking slightly haggard, said "I'm lost." I didn't know what he was talking about until he told me he dropped his Garmin computer. As we completed our turn onto the highway he said, "No more satellite time."

Looking for Rich's Lost Garmin?
During further discussions, some would speculate Keith's kind assistance in holding Rich's bike, in part by the stem, had somehow dislodged the computer from its base. But who could be certain? And what would it matter?

The ride home was typical: fast but manageable. Lately, the bunch has raced full-out from the base of the Casino Bridge to the top of Seabrook Bridge. If you don't grab a big gear at the top of the first bridge and pedal like hell down it, you'll be climbing the second bridge alone. My computer (not a Garmin, but still on my bike) showed a max speed today of 35.4 mph, which I presume was down the Casino Bridge coming home.

I didn't see Rich coming off the bridges and didn't see him again until the group was inside the levee near the circle at Paris Ave. He told me he had gotten lost. No Garmin.

Cool Down on Lakeshore Dr.
Snipped from Facebook

The good news is that Page found Rich's Garmin, somewhat scuffed, but we should again have satellite time.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pining for HL

Nothing interesting to report. I was late getting to Rich's and missed The Putting On of the Shoes. The weather, although slightly chilly at the start, turned out to be as nice as it gets -- mid-50s with calm winds. Just as we were pulling out, two orange kits showed up which provoked some low murmuring among those clipping in, but the ride was ultimately NHL so the group worked well together all the way out and back.

At the other end, at Rich's suggestion, I sought to document the notable presence of Vega, and captured this somewhat disturbing image. I am at a loss to explain the pose. Is he practicing his road-hazard point for the ride home? Or is it a small part of a celebratory dance 1 from that era of spinning mirrored balls and platform shoes?

The ride in was quite civilized with the bunch maintaining a smooth double paceline and Donald just off the back spouting the occasional Reederism.

Riding home I noticed the city had installed huge bike icons all the way down Nashville in the middle of the riverbound lane.


While the ride was thoroughly enjoyable, I found myself missing HL and the attendant fireworks. Those less pleasant but more eventful rides provide more fodder for the blog.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

'The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.'

Getting on the Levee
 'The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.' -- Mark Twain

It goes without saying that I don't need to be wandering alone into the Black Pearl in the predawn hours without a good reason. A couple of times a week I bite my lip and venture a block or so into the northern end of the neighborhood to collect Big Rich for the ride. If I pull into his driveway between 6:00 and 6:04, Rich is never present, but I'm inevitably met with a view of his open garage, chock-full of bikes -- both vintage and the latest, lightest carbon jobs. His chosen ride for the day has already been removed from it's designated spot in a stand or on the wall and placed outside the garage -- airing I guess. At 6:04, precisely 6:04, Rich emerges (still chewing on something), selects a pair of shoes from a crowded shelf, and sits on a little bench against one wall to put them on. The famous geothermal feature in Yellowstone, named for its predictability, is less predictable. This is Big Rich. This is his routine.

Today, I found his garage closed. 
Apparently,  the "weekend" part of Parents' Weekend at fancy New England prep schools means something other than the traditional two-day respite between workweeks. 

At the start Vega requested an online dictionary or footnotes be included if I insisted on using big words in this blog. Overhearing Vega's comment, Bryian Robert Baum said, "You blog? What's the address?" The engineer piped up, rattling off a web address that Baum was unlikely to retain.

So I said, "Why don't you give me an email address, Brian, and I'll send you a link."

"Oh, you'll never remember it," he responded. "I might, what is it?" I said. "No, you'll never remember it," he insisted.

"What is it?," I asked with slightly more business in my voice. Now I'm thinking, what could it be: So, he finally relented: "Brian Robert Baum at gmail dot com," he said. That's it? Really? His name at the world's most popular free web-based email service. Some might argue Ronnie Schmitt (may he be at peace) was overconfident in my mental acuity, but I share a lot of genetic material with two siblings, one a physician who has spent his career telling brain surgeons when to stop cutting and another, an engineer, who worked for more than  a decade on algorithms1 designed to shoot down missiles with other missiles. At minimum, enough of them ended up as part of me for me to remember a name. Just then the engineer pipes up again, "Is that Brian with an i or a y?"

We waited an extra minute or so for Randy, who didn't show, and then set out into the darkness.

Right away I didn't like the make-up of the smallish group. Nothing orange but mostly strong guys. I looked at Vega and he said, "I have to turn early today." Yeah, right. We met no one on the way to the playground, but as we approached, I could see the lights from a single bike climbing the levee. I started a little internal chant: I hope its Keith, I hope its Keith, I hope its Keith. Turned out to be HL.

Grupetto at First Light
You know the rest. HL began his familiar games. Going past Williams, the flags looked as stiff as plywood pointed at the river. Nevertheless, people were blithely2 pulling off to the south. I had been screaming PULL RIGHT PULL RIGHT PULL RIGHT PULL RIGHT for about 1/4 mile, when HL finally told Triceps Dave to stay put and went around him on the left. It wasn't much later when HL successfully let a gap open and sprinted across. A grupetto was born. Robert happened to be on the back at the time and flew by me four mph faster than the rest of us were going, yelling, "Come on." It looked like he might have bridged up, I couldn't really tell. If he did, he was good and cooked because he stopped and turned around just before the Old End.

Vega, Triceps Dave, and I rode in together from the Little Dip.

Huey P. Long Bridge

1. algorithm - n. a set of steps that are followed in order to solve a mathematical problem or to complete a computer process.
2. blithe - adj.  showing a lack of proper thought or care, not caring or worrying. -- blithely - adv.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paceline Riding 101: Rule1. Don't Stare At What Is Right In Front Of You

Swim Hole - Lake Pontchartrain

Everyone knows you can't believe what you read on the internet or in emails. That goes for things which sound erudite and completely believable as much as for things that are nonsensical, like this email I got yesterday while trying to decide where to ride today:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: giro
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2013 17:53:43 -0600
From: Luke Ponseti <>
To: David J. L'Hoste <>
CC: <>

Vega will at the giro

Ray is doing Tajik
I have a flat, hope to have a good ride

 I won't say I relied on this message to choose a Sunday ride, but I can say I believe what was trying to be communicated was that Vega would do the Giro and Ray wouldn't. It is also my firm belief  that Tajik is neither a town in Iran nor an Uzbekistani table dancer. I think, and don't ask me for any basis grounded in reason, Tajik translates into the Tour of Jefferson.

 I opted for the Giro for two principal reasons: 1. I turned 61 this week and one goal is to complete the Giro for as long as I can, so with yesterday's cyclocross race and today's Tour of Jeff, I thought the Giro would be sparsely attended and it would be a good day to complete the ride in my 62nd year (taking any pressure off for twelve months); 2. Vega will at the giro.

Actually there was a third no less important reason: I planned to park at my friend George's house near the Lake on Killdeer, offering a chance to tell him hello and maybe get the cold beer he usually leaves iced in his mailbox for ride's end.

I sat atop the rise that Rich will not cross and waited for the group. At 7:08 a guy older than I with a teenage girl, both in NOBC kits and both unknown to me, rode by and said hello. By 7:15, although the view of the sun rising over the swim hole was awesome, I was getting impatient and decided to head east. Near Elysian Fields I heard chatter behind me and it was six riders, four on tri-bikes: Chip Porter, a couple of guys I have never seen, and three very fit women. You know the ones. As Chip passed he said, "This is the Giro."

Well, it was a beautiful day  and a beautiful ride in spite of the 20 mph NE winds. I might, however, implore someone, Robin R. or Kenny B., someone, to teach triathletes about echelons. You would think that people so bent on overcoming wind friction they sit all squinched up on the front of their saddles would learn. And while Robin or Kenny are at it, perhaps I could benefit from a refresher on Rule #1 of paceline riding: Don't stare at what is directly in front of you. All day I was having trouble being mindful of that basic tenet.

The ride was plenty fast  with a max speed of 31 and change coming in on Chef and with sprints at the usual spots contested by Chip, a guy on a road bike from out of town (he didn't seem to know the route), and a guy named Henry who put me off slightly with his first comment to me, which was to ask whether my son rode the Giro. He wasn't being unkind, at least I don't think he was, and he was certainly young enough to be my son, but it's sort of like being asked, "Are you up for this ride, pops?"

Anyway, it was a good ride, although I kept thinking that if Vega wasn't there he must be at the Tour of Jeff, and I might be missing some great photo opportunity. But I trust there will be plenty of cell phones at the ready to capture any incident involving Vega on the Westbank.

(I found George's mailbox empty. Apparently he and Bud were on the road from Oxford and the disappointing loss by LSU.)

Source: Wikipedia


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Disregard Everything I Said

Waiting on 6:15

We shouldn't get any photos from Rich today depicting Vega sprawled on the asphalt, because Max apparently convinced him to show up this morning. (Rich, this is not an invitation to spam everybody with a photo of Vega sprawled on the asphalt.)

Please disregard everything I said last week about HL. In truth, HL is either there or he is not. It's entirely a binary paradigm: 1 or 0, on or off, there or not there. Whatever happened in the fog last week was evidently some freakish one-off occurrence having more to do with HL's self-preservation than any kind, grandfatherly aspect of his personality. I'm sure the pretty little girl and the fish were cardboard cutouts used to make him appear human in some political advertisement back when he ran for office.

HL started attacking in the pitch dark as we passed below the Huey P. Long Bridge.  So it was another case of recklessly bounding westward listening to cyclists screaming about oncoming hazards, seen and unseen. One good development of late is that B. Baum, who has always been plenty strong, is becoming a wiser cyclist. He has learned to let HL hang off the front, and no amount of sneering from HL can entice Baum to play HL's game. After some pouting and sneering and a few more attacks, HL usually tries to separate the group by blocking part of the line and then taking off. That ploy failed today, too. With HL largely neutralized, the ride to Ormond was pleasant once I could see where I was heading.

It was a fairly large group today. Once Vega got near the other end, we were about 18 riders, and I was looking forward to a nice trip home. I had just settled in on Rich's wheel as we slow-rolled eastward below the Luling Bridge when I heard Rich emit a low, elongated groan: UhOooooh. Two of the young Turks in orange had chased us out and were now turning with us. Playmates for HL.

I could have written this script yesterday: One orange kit rolls off the front, HL and Baum can't help themselves, we chase for miles. We finally catch him, and the other orange kit attacks. By the country club there were no less than four groups. Rich, Randy and I ended up riding in together.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Momma says stupid is as stupid does."

Mississippi River at Bonnet Carré Spillway
"Momma says stupid is as stupid does." -- Forrest Gump

 With Rich out of town and being keenly aware of Vega's unreliability, I decided Saturday evening not to ride the Giro. Sunday morning I toyed with the idea of doing nothing, but I was up early, started feeling guilty, and at the last minute headed to the levee with a single bottle of water and loose plans to ride to the Old End or perhaps the Little Dip.

As I approached Oak and Leake I saw a couple of single cyclists on cruisers riding the top of the levee along Leake, so when I got up to the path I went downriver to check out whether it was open to Audubon Park. Barricades were still up, but the path was mostly clear save for some big planks put across to move tracked machinery to the batture. Anyway, as I was heading back upriver I could see a small group on Oak so I softed it until they caught me to see if I might want to ride with them.

On the back of the group were R. Aubrey, J. Jordan , and S. Silbert. I didn't know the other guys, but the winds were dead calm so I figured my chances of being knocked down by somebody were somewhat reduced, and I jumped on.

The pace was a very manageable 22 - 24 mph. My only criticism was that everyone was insisting on pulling for a mile. I don't mean they were taking long pulls; I mean they were pulling for a measured mile, and, of course, I felt compelled to do the same. Jordan and a couple of other guys got out at the Little Dip, but I still felt good and thought I'd stick until the Big Dip. I can't offer any explanation for why I didn't turn at the Big Dip, I just didn't. Nearing Ormond I started to sit up but the other three riders didn't alter their cadence one iota. Okay, I recalled that sometimes this group goes to the absolute end which, as I remembered, is about another mile upriver. At that point, I reckoned it was better to hang and ride back with help rather than alone. Well, there are two or three more dips upriver of the Big Dip, and the path goes all the way to the Bonnet Carré Spillway.

So, here's the stupid part: having had no breakfast, having no food with me, and with nothing in my stomach but water and whatever remained of the soft-shell crab from a 6 pm seating at Dominique's the night before, I found myself 30 miles from home (I now know it is precisely 60 miles from my driveway to the middle of the spillway and back), out of water, watching these three guys moving their full bottles to front cages and chewing on Cliff Bars. Right, I know, stupid.

At model airplane area of Bonnet Carré Spillway
The guy with the Romeo kit, name of Rodney, I think, is pretty strong and reminds me of Bourgeois with a good disposition.

Fortunately, Scott had money and I was able to get Powerade in St. Rose. It was a good ride: the long pulls and extra miles left me as ragged as any Giro without any danger of being left out in the marshes of the far reaches of New Orleans East.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."

"I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday." -- Abraham Lincoln
Had he survived another 148 years without being shot in the head, Lincoln may well hold me in some esteem, because I'm definitely wiser today than yesterday. I've always said you learn something new everyday, but maybe this is only the nicest way I can admit being wrong, dead wrong, in an earlier post when I declared Tues/Thurs rides to only come in two varieties -- HL and NHL. Apparently there is a third version. But more on that later.

Before we get to this third version of the beast into which our pleasant levee ride of the nascent years of this century has transmogrified, I need to amend or at least supplement my earlier description of the harrowing nature of barreling down a darkened levee through traffic with a dozen other cyclists. To the darkness, to the huge trucks, to the wandering pedestrians leading big dogs on long leashes, and to the oncoming bikes sporting halogen headlights, please add dense, wet, claustrophobic fog -- 10 solid miles of it.

Around the country club I saw a rider dropping back fast in the other lane. When he came within the three-foot range of visibility, I could see it was Randy. Somebody asked him if he was alright. Randy responded, "This is stupid." I certainly couldn't argue with the unassailable logic in his statement, but nevertheless, the barreling continued.

All of this brings me to today's  revelation, the bit of wisdom I acquired which would have made Lincoln proud. Evidently Tues/Thurs rides come in a third type, where HL is along but he is in his kind-PaPa-teaching-young-granddaughter-Maddie-to-fish mode. I was on HL's wheel through all of the fog.  He allowed a 10 meter gap to open between him and the six or eight guys rotating in front. As steady as I've ever seen D. Reeder, HL pulled me and the rest of the fog riding fools for more than 10 miles at exactly 24.5 mph. It was great, and I was almost able to convince myself it was safe.

On a related matter, I think Vega must have had an equipment problem because I didn't see him at the other end, but the group came upon him riding east near the Big Dip.

Back at the playground HL stated: "You know if you take out the surges, this ride is very pleasant."

Said I,"All we have to do is get those cabrones to quit surging."

"I know exactly what you mean, David," said HL.

By the time we were heading back to town visibility was appreciably improved.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Short Version: HL - No Vega - Old End

It was dry and cool this morning, so I mounted my bike with a buoyant verve fueled by crisp autumn air, even if I wasn't looking forward to the wind, predicted to be north at 13. Somewhere between my house and Rich's, my headlight fell off unnoticed.

Yet again I got a chance to see Rich either donning or removing his shoes. I guess there is nothing inherently wrong with this, but life is really too short.

At the start Rich said it didn't look too bad. I think he meant muscle-wise, but I don't know how he could tell because it was as dark as it gets. It wasn't long after we shoved off that I started catching enough color on kits to see there was plenty of muscle present.

It would be hard for anyone who has not been there to understand the true nature of the pre-dawn Tues/Thurs levee ride -- the hectic, vertigo inducing jumble of 15 or so bikes speeding through the night on a twelve-foot strip of asphalt, lights blinking everywhere, huge dump trucks approaching from the right and left, all-but-invisible pedestrians, blinding headlights of approaching bikes, incomprehensible warning grunts from up the line about who knows what. All of this aggravated on mornings such as this, when the west-bound train is hugging the centerline or even encroaching on the other lane, looking for a draft in the north crosswind.

'Tis the season, I think, to start late and meet the group at the Big Dip on the way in.

I sat up at the Old End and rode in with California Rick. I suggested we trade pulls at two signs and Rick said that sounded fine. After a few pulls Rick got off the front way early and said, "I got lucky those two signs were so close together." Rick is an assistant provost at Tulane, you know. After explaining to the assistant provost that all the signs were numbered and placed equidistant from one another, he made some comment about needing a lawyer to define what a sign is and then made another comment about Clinton's famous "definition of is is" statement. In any event, we had a nice ride back to town.

Here is Rich's field report: "HL was neutralized about half way out to the turn around. He tried the same shit on the way back and Brian again let him out there. He made a couple comments to Brian as he dropped back as we passed the flags and we didn't see him again. Beautiful."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Choose Your Ride, Choose Wisely

One must choose rides wisely. Tuesday's post-MNF ride was lightly attended, NHL, and very pleasant. Like the Sunday Giro after a Saturday rain-out, Thursday's ride promised to be quite the opposite. For this reason, and the state of my nerves, I passed. But, we offer this field report from Big Rich, whose habits are more rigid and predictable:

Rain yesterday so no ride--today, orange guys, McDermott, Luna, Kenny, bug eyes etc--dropped at the grain elevators on the way out and at the gravel pit in St Charles on the way back--sheesh. David rode his new scooter to yoga.
-- Richard Ehret

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Saints at 4-0 make for a great NHL ride!

I attribute it to the undefeated Saints playing the 3-0 Dolphins on the national stage that is Monday Night Football. I have no real evidence of this, but we are in New Orleans,  perhaps the only city in the world which would officially shut down City Hall an hour early on account of a football game. Great Saints win but a very light turnout on the levee.

Whatever the cause, this morning's ride was of the NHL variety. Tuesday/Thursday levee rides generally fall into two categories: HL (Howard Luna) and NHL (No Howard Luna).  It was beautiful. Although we touched 30 briefly at the other end where there is apparently a mandatory sprint, almost the entire ride out was a smooth 24-25 on a very light tail wind.  We started with only six or seven riders and picked up Donald and Movie Star Dave west of the country club. The only downside to the light turnout was my feeling compelled to participate in the rotation all the way out and back, something I haven't done lately.

Donald declared the ride to be the Ronnie Schmitt  Memorial, today being the first anniversary of Ronnie's untimely demise.

Rich's dogs must have been bothering him because at the other end he sat down behind Ormond and did his take-the-shoes-off-put-the-shoes-on routine. The small group was in no mood to dally and immediately started rolling back toward town, leaving Rich on the bench, shoe in hand, imploring, "Ain't nobody gonna wait?"