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.

No comments:

Post a Comment