|MLK 2012, slightly colder than this year.|
It wasn't until I was on my way to Luke's grandma's house Friday night when my excitement was tempered by the first hints of anxiety. Last year, my brother Jim came down from Wisconsin for the ride. This year, while tons of friends would be there, I was driving there alone had no one morally obligated to ride with me. Luke and Chuck are way faster than I am, and while they've always been super nice about riding with me (and great fun to ride with), I never want them to feel like they have to hang back and babysit me.
|Sweetest lady ever|
On the very first downhill, a gradual rocky slope, I started braking early (like always)...and NOTHING happened. No brakes whatsoever. That was pretty scary. I did some loud cursing, steered myself off the trail to slow down, and looked at my useless brakes like I had any idea what to do. Emma stopped with me, and Luke and then Chuck rode back to see what was going on. Chuck managed to get my rear brake to work, but the front one wasn't fixable without parts. "Well, just rely on your back brake," he suggested.
|Luke, looking mighty comfortable on a bike that, curiously, rides a lot like his old Hardrock.|
|Blackberry whiskey makes even great rides better|
I didn't want anybody getting hurt because of my messed up bike, so I decided to head out at the next opportunity. A quick map check showed us there was a fire road at the top of the next climb. Of course, you can't always trust the roads around the Berryman trail to be where they're mapped (as Jim and I learned the hard way in 2011), but this time the map was right on. I talked to the guys for a little longer, gave Luke back his bike, and promised to text the guys when I was safely back to the parking lot (which I promptly forgot to do).
|Nice, clear fire road.|
|Too nice of a day to pout.|
Emma and I had the parking area to ourselves for a few minutes before the first couple riders pulled in from completing the whole loop. It's amazing to me how fast other people can be. I'd love to be out there and just watch them ride and marvel. We talked for a while to people finishing up, checked out the pictures from Emma's trip to Belize, and generally hung out and enjoyed the fantastic weather and company.
The Hoosier Daddies cooked up brats and some delicious pressure-cooked vegetables, others had brought baked beans, fruit, chips, cookies, brownies, and more. I'm pretty sure that I ate and drank way more calories than I burned on my epic 9 mile ride, but this was a special occasion. The day ended with lots of conversation and LOTS of laughter as Luke and I pretty much dominated in washers despite the distraction tactics of our opponents.
While I'd have loved to spend more time on the trails, you can't complain when your Plan B is the kind of afternoon worth a month of anticipation on its own. It's not often that you get such an awesome, like-minded group of people together like this...in our case, though, it's been a week. :) January has been a Very Good Month.
Oh, and my bike? Chuck took it home last night, and today when we met up to run he brought it back to me with a set of (much nicer) brakes he had laying around at home so I can still ride until I get new brakes ordered.