Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Overcoming Shyness

Tuesday/Thursday Turnaround At Ormond Plantation
  [Note: This blog isn't intended to disparage or offend anyone. If anything contained herein is believed to be inaccurate or offensive, please leave a comment. Any such comment may change nothing, but will be stark evidence of your right to free expression of thought and opinion, much as this blog evidences mine. Thanks for visiting.]

It can be disquieting, from my 61-year-old perspective, to sit beneath the pump tower waiting on 6:15 as strongman after strongman rolls up for the ride. I'm certain the muscle-to-mere-mortal ratio at the start this morning was the highest I've ever witnessed. Woody, Brian, Robert, two of the Gen-Y guys in orange (except one wasn't in orange, he wore his LAMBRA 2013 TT Champion's jersey). And, of course, I just knew HL was waiting for us at the playground. Oh, I almost forgot (he's so shy and reserved you hardly notice he's there), we were treated today to a fairly rare appearance by the only man I know who can tell you exactly how many nipples there are on a cat 1.

As we pulled away I told Vega this wasn't going to be fun. He said, "I saw Scott as I passed the playground, it's going to be alright." "Oh, okay," I said. But I'm thinking, how's Big Scott going to help us? The only way to help us is to get four or five of these guys to turn around now and go home.

Before we passed under the Huey P. Long Bridge, HL protégé, Robert, attacked. Brian was on front, but didn't bite. He pulled steadily until Robert came back to the bunch. There were maybe two more early surges until the bashful artist yelled, "I want NHL." I actually think things settled a bit then, and the ride to Ormond was relatively uneventful from that point until HL decided to attack at the decidely most dangerous spot on the ride -- at the western end of the Big Dip as the path makes a counter-sloped reverse-S through concrete abutments and steel beams. Yet again briefly overcoming his clinical introversion the artist starts screaming, "Go for it. This is your big chance." Other similar cries began to ring out. Things again quieted and remained steady to the turnaround.

As we started back toward town, there seemed to be a certain tension in the air (not that this is unusual for these rides). Right away HL and Robert went off the front. Brian took a colossal pull, brought it back together, and continued off the front.

 Although calm when the ride started, the mostly east winds were freshening during the entire morning, and now we were chasing into a headwind. Twice as we approached the Little Dip I found myself on the front of the chase -- a monumental mismanagement of my position within the group and my energy expenditure. I was done. As the group pulled away, I could see Vega safely ensconced on its ass-end. I wanted to get a photo but was too cooked to take out my iPhone.

As to what occurred after that point, beyond my lonely trek home into a stiffening wind, I can offer little. I did see HL near Ochsner riding back toward the playground from Oak Street and waved and said his name, but I think he must have been looking at something on River Road and didn't see me wave.

I can also say because of the marvels of modern technology and his candid admission, Rich was dropped, near the country club, exactly 8.28 miles east of the point of my inglorious departure. Rich's ride profile, annotated by me, is below.

Rich's Ride Profile


  1. Sorry I missed that one! I'm still nursing my hurty neck and back from that unfortunate head-plant last Saturday in Jackson.

  2. > From: bigboy
    > Date: November 13, 2013 at 10:29:55 AM CST
    > To: davidlhoste@gmail.com
    > Subject: [Enlightening the Weak and Far-flung] New comment on Overcoming Shyness.
    > bigboy has left a new comment on your post "Overcoming Shyness":
    > Howard Luna is a bully with bent chain rings. Furthermore, he has many unresolved childhood issues. Aside from his pugnacious attitude and countless character flaws I still like him. I would like to use this blog as a mechanism to raise money for his therapy. I am going to inaugurate this event by donating my tattered copy of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People.
    > With Love,
    > Racer X
    > (I would like to remain anonymous in this philanthropic event)

    The above comment was posted to the blog, but was accidentally deleted by me when trying to edit my reply. Sorry.

    My reply, as best I can remember it:
    I don't think he is a bully, just an aggressive rider who likes to stir things up on a bike. As such, he has always been the subject of comment by me and others, and fairly so. I don't resent the way he rides, but I think it makes good grist for this blog. And as expressed by you, I like him. Always have. I've always marveled at the contrast between his aggressive riding and the gentle, kind person he is off the bike. I do not think he needs therapy, but please do forward the book. I could use it.

  3. I was just joking. I really don't like him. One time on Bullard HL tried to punch Carey Holle and I was accidentally grazed and fell over. This is still in litigation.

    Racer X

    P.S. Ever since that fair skinned guy, I think his name was Luke, ever since he left town for that cult in Utah the levee ride has been complete mayhem. Just ask Mignon