On numerous occasions, I’ve mentioned that one of the best perks of cycling is the camaraderie and friendships you make while riding. Today was a typical example of this perk.
Angela, yes, the one and only FOP Angela, and I had made plans to cycle together down Tree Line with no set distance in mind. The plan was basically to enjoy the morning spinning away the miles until we felt like turning back. When I arrived at the SweetBay, Angela was busy prepping her bike. As we chatted, I noticed that a few other cyclists were also preparing their bikes.
Before we even had a chance to approach them to see where they were headed, they came over to us to inquire about our cycling plans. As it turns out, these cyclists were our friend Tara, who often joins us on rides, Tina, who I haven’t ridden with since the Moe’s ride last year, and Wisnick, who I’m sure I’ve ridden with before on event rides, but never had the pleasure of meeting. We set Coconut Point as our destination and headed off down Tree Line.
The ride down was against a surprisingly stubborn wind, but we all worked as a team taking turns up front clawing our way through it to reach our usual destination, Panera Bread.
Once there, we relaxed to some favorites, including parfaits and oatmeal, while we all caught up and chatted about upcoming rides, in particular the Wings and Wheels Ride III up in Punta Gorda which features a very unique highlight known as “Speedtrap Alley”, where if you break the radar at 25mph or more, the Punta Gorda Police will issue a citation suitable for framing! Bragging rights anyone?
Tina mentioned that she had already signed up for the ride, but doubted that she could exceed 25 MPH. We took that as a challenge, and set out to prove on the ride back that she was more than capable of hitting 25 MPH, especially with the nice tail wind. Sure enough, she not only reached 25 MPH, but also exceeded it reaching speeds of over 27 MPH on the airport segment. In fact she was so concentrated on her pedaling that she did not even realize she hit 25 MPH until I pulled along side her and told her to look down at her cycling computer. Needless to say, she let out a little cheer.
Congratulations were in order for Tina and Wisnick when we reached the end of our ride at the SweetBay market, so we decided to head over to Starbucks to toast the achievement. We must have sat there for over an hour chatting away, resulting in a very curious ride stat…our stopped time was actually greater than our total ride time!
Kudos again to Tina and Wisnick on breaking their 25 MPH cherries. I’m sure we’ll all end up with speeding citations up in Punta Gorda. Kudos also to Angela for the monster pull on the return ride. You are getting stronger everyday!
Ride Time: 2:47:27
Stopped Time: 2:57:37
Distance: 39.42 miles
Average: 14.12 mph
Fastest Speed: 27.29 mph
Ascent: 1933 feet
Descent: 1934 feet