|Brian, Max, Seattle Mike, the top of Vega's helmet, Ray, Rich, CA Rick, Woody, and Daniel|
So now I feel like the man overboard watching the ship slowing pulling away with no hope of seeing it again. Then I see the guy I would later learn to be Mike from Seattle, who's on an ancient, fluorescent-pink Klein with downtube shifters, also get surprised by the empty space where the rest of the line should have been, and he's off the back, too. So I settle in on his wheel and figure it's him and me for the long haul, but he's got other ideas and stands up on this old aluminum frame and starts pedaling like hell. Well, he pulls me up to the group, almost killing me and I'm sure himself in the process.
Amazingly, the group hadn't slowed but was actually going faster and as soon as we were on again things started to unravel. A couple of people started losing contact, then Max is next to me, talking to me, but I'm not really listening, I'm trying to breathe. Finally I understand he's asking me where Vega went, but I just stare at him trying to breathe. Max curses and sits up. Now I'm thinking if Max is going back for Vega, he better hurry because Vega is probably putting his bike in his truck by now.
So it's Seattle Mike and me once more. But only 50 meters up the road is Lenny, who we join and the three of us start to work a little bit. I say a little bit because Seattle Mike pulled for a while then I went around him and got on the front, then, all of a sudden, Seattle Mike and Lenny are both out of their saddles sprinting away from me. So I say, "Really?" But nobody's there to hear me.
|Brian and Seattle Mike|
|Could that be the stink eye?|
Apparently Vega didn't get the bike in the truck because he and Max rode up after a short while. To be fair, Vega probably deserves a pass since lately he has been suffering a physical infirmity 1 of a delicate nature which I have much difficulty thinking about much less describing here. With Woody's flat fixed, we stood around jawboning until the rest of the group, which had been half a mile west waiting for HL to change a flat, appeared.
Just as the whole group started back east, Randy, who I had figured for an early PT session, pulled up. Coming back was largely uneventful. Once we got started Woody took about a five-mile pull into a quartering headwind at a rock-steady 24 mph. Around Williams Blvd. I picked up a huge shard of metal in my rear tire and had to change the flat, a task I accomplished rather expeditiously in spite of Rich's standing around making snarky comments, pickpocketing my iPhone, snapping images of me, and constantly apprising me of elapsed satellite time.
|Removing 20-penny nail from rear tire|
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