Poor Tina. The cycling Gods were not smiling upon her yesterday as she experienced her own version of “one of those days”. It all started after dragging her out of bed for an early morning ride with Angela, Tara and myself. On the drive over to the Sweetbay Market, she experience a bit of a forewarning of the days events when she witnessed a suicidal squirrel take on an automobile in a game of boulevard frogger…needless to say, the squirrel lost.
Once at the Sweetbay Market, we prepped our bikes and saddled up to start our 40 mile ride to Coconut Point and back. Angela took the lead quickly ratcheting up the speed above 22 MPH. She must have been overly rested from her recent vacation up North, that, or she was angry to be back, regardless of the reason though, I had to ask her to slow it down as Tina and Tara were not warmed up and falling behind a bit. She didn’t relinquish the lead until a stop light stopped us on Daniels Boulevard…she is becoming quite the pulling monster, and I mean that in a good way!
As we stopped I looked back to see if Tina and Tara were still with us. They were just a few dozen yards behind us slowly coasting in. As they came to a stop, Tina pulled a page out of Angela’s cycling book, and preceded to ever so elegantly, flop over onto her right side…yes, the dreaded Flop of Disgrace!
You could see the dread, or is it embarrassment in her face as she slowly succumbed to the pull of gravity ending in her abrupt meeting with the pavement. Even the drivers around us were shocked to see a rider go down on their own. We quickly got her on her feet just as the light changed to green. She had a little souvenir scrape on her knee from the incident, but otherwise she was fine…not so sure about the ego though. The bike on, on the other hand, was not so fortunate.
As strong as modern road bikes are, they have a couple of Achilles heel type spots that if it should just happen to fall in a particular way, and hit a very particular spot, which only occurs one in million falls, but only if the planets are aligned correctly while in the same galactic plane, can really mess up your bike. It just so happens, this was that rare occasion, as Tina’s rear deraillure took all of the impact, bending it inwards just enough to throw off it’s alignment. The bike was rideable, but as we found out after our mid ride break, shifting was off and there was a little bit of chain slippage.
Back on our bikes, we pressed on to Coconut Point. Tara took the lead keeping us at a steady 20-21 MPH pace into an oblique wind. Even Tina gave it a try up front for a bit, but quickly changed her mind as the pace and wind, not to mention the messed up gears, banged knee, bruised ego and, in some way, the flatten squirrel all took their toll. Angela and I eventually brought the group into Coconut Point for a little break.
While there the gals enjoyed some caffeinated concoctions from Starbucks, while I opted for my favorite Acai Berry tea as well as a big old apple crunch muffin for the four of us. I have to say that the topics of conversation with these three is very different from the ones I have with the guys. Sure we talk about cycling, events and sports, but our off tangent dialogs would require an R rated blog for me to comment on. Lets just say that Tara has a very unusual customer service metric for measuring efficiency. I’ll leave it up to her to elaborate on that point.
While mounting up we realized the extent of damage to Tina’s bike was considerable and recommended we stop at the Trek store for a fix. Unfortunately it was still closed, and wouldn’t open for another half hour, so we pushed on homeward keeping an eye on Tina and her bike. The one bright spot in her day was that we would have a favorable wind back home. Finally some good news!
We eventually returned to our starting point without further mishaps. Not the best cycling day for Tina, but she still had a big old smile on her face, and even took the time to do some impromptu yoga in the parking lot with Angela. Best of all, she was spared getting her picture taken during the flop of disgrace…I was too busy getting her and her bike up to take the picture 😉
By the way, Tina was able to get her bike repaired later in the day, so her tumultuous tour ended with a silver lining.
Ride Time: 2:27:36
Stopped Time: 2:33:21
Distance: 38.40 miles
Average: 15.61 mph
Fastest Speed: 24.62 mph
Ascent: 860 feet
Descent: 850 feet