|Tuesday/Thursday Turnaround At Ormond Plantation|
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.
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|