Newbies, Rainbows, Breaks and Cat 5 Tattoos

On the eve of another Century Sunday, we opted for an easy forty mile ride today to stretch out our legs a bit. I was joined by Larry, Manuel, Gus, Tina, and first timer Joel, an experienced runner who had only been riding for a few days. First time riders are always easy to spot, particularly when they show up on an undersized bike, wearing running shoes and shorts…kind of like tourists with flowered shirts and cameras around their neck on Florida beaches. His previous long rides were approximately 10 miles, so this was going to be quite a test for him.

Can you spot the newbie?

As we rode down Tree Line, I stayed by his side offering numerous tips (he was probably thinking to himself, “will this guy ever shut up”), and kept a watchful eye on him, after all, this was his first group ride. He did a great job holding his line, melding right into our pace line. He even got a chance to pull, but I quickly nixed that…lets let him get a few more rides under his belt before he takes over responsibility for the group.

He was looking very fresh by the time we reached Coconut Point, in fact he was surprised that we reached it so quickly and easily. I guess the world moves much slower when running. We kicked back a bit to enjoy our usual treats at Panera while letting a little shower pass by.

Rain break at Panera

Although the sky looked menacing, the rain never went beyond a trickle, so once our cups and plates were empty, we decided to head out. It was just enough to get the roads wet and cool things down a bit, all very welcomed. Speaking of welcomed, Mother Nature gave us a large rainbow as we headed out of the lot…now that’s a lead out!

Tina’s looking for that pot o’ gold.

The drizzle was light and the rooster tails from our rear wheels weren’t all that bad as we headed homeward riding two abreast. The rain stopped shortly after we headed out, and the road was dry shortly afterwards. You’d be hard pressed to tell that it even rained by the time we had reached the I-75 overpass. As we turned onto Tree Line, we heard the call of a hawk overhead and wondered if our friend Albert, the Red-Shouldered hawk, had been released. We kept our eyes opened hoping to see him…in the air, not on the ground.

By now the java overload from the prolonged rain break at Panera, was wearing heavily on Gus’s bladder…what do you expect from 3 cups of coffee, so we took a detour into Miromar Lakes for a “besoin naturel”. While there we took a little sightseeing side tour through the community, enjoying its pristinely manicured landscapes and cobbled roads. Speaking of landscaping, the lawns at the welcome center were so inviting that Tina and Larry could not resist the temptation of  stretching out a bit while waiting for Gus.

The right way to relax after a ride

Once our little tour was completed, we headed back onto Tree Line and continued our ride back home two abreast at a brisk 20 MPH clip. When we reached the end of the ride, Joel hopped off his bike faster than anyone I’ve ever seen…I guess the mileage and lack of chamois had finally caught up. He’ll probably be a bit sore, but he did a great job for his first time out! I’m sure he’ll become a seasoned rider in no time.

Tina on the other hand was sporting quite a large “cat 5 tattoo”, which literally is a “tattoo” of your greasy chain ring imprinted on your leg…the tell sign of an amateur!!! But, in my eyes a “cat 5 tattoo” should be worn proudly as it is the sign of a real serious cyclist…wear it with pride Tina. At least yours washes off, mine is permanently scared into my right ankle!

The dreaded cat 5 tattoo

Route: Coconut-40
Ride Time: 2:44:30
Stopped Time: 1:40:16
Distance: 42.73 miles
Average: 15.59 mph
Fastest Speed: 26.89 mph
Ascent: 794 feet
Descent: 861 feet
Calories: 2330
HR Average: 108
HR Max: 159
HR Zone 1: 32:39
HR Zone 2: 1:10:17
HR Zone 3: 45:13
HR Zone 4: 6:10
HR Zone 5: 0:34

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