Hairy legs, wheezing lungs and MAMILS (Middle Aged Men In Lycra)
Waking up to glorious blue skies on Sunday April 29th, I looked over to my sleeping wife and club mate Michele and pondered how I would coax, trick or cajole her comatose body (after a night of partying) into our first official club ride of the season. So coaxing started with "Oh what a gorgeous day, we need to get outside and ride". Response? Some grunting, the cold shoulder and covers over the head. Next came the trickery, "Hey all the girls will be out riding and you will have great company and get a chance to catch up and besides we are leading the "slow" group today". Eyes peeking out from under the covers looked something between: "I will kill you if you don't shut up and oh hell, I'm awake now so I might as well come". Finally with some cajoling "I have the bikes packed, kettles on, dog's walked, all you have to do is jump in the van for the ride to Gears on Oakville". And with that, my long suffering mate and I were off to join the crew.
It was nice to see familiar faces and a few of our female members out - so it was not just a MAMIL fest. Unfortunately, due to the rather cold weather it was mostly the die hards who showed up so Tim made the choice to start as one group which made a lie of my "we will lead the slow group" trick. So off we went over hill and dale in the beautiful countryside north of Oakville, chatting away with varying degrees of breathlessness, depending on who did what over the winter.
As we entered hiller terrain a few members showed some fitness and took off like rockets at the front while others, who actually lead full and productive lives, suffered at the back. As I am in reasonable shape so far this year, I took it upon myself, along with Tim and David, to help out some of the folks struggling and alternated between pushing them up some hills and providing a friendly wheel to draft back to the group. All in all, it was a relaxed ride with nobody in a big rush so we were able to keep it together for most of the ride. At the half way marker Mitch, David, Tricia and some of the keeners zigged while we zagged to get in an extra 20kms.
We finished the ride back at the new Gears bike shop in Oakville where Kevin had coffee and muffins ready. A great start to the season and looking forward to many fun rides with my mates!