|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|
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.
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.