Today was another awesome day on the trails for the Higher Gear crew. The temps were right around 40 degrees with winds slightly out of the north. We started with five riders and added two more along the way. Our group was a mix of varied backgrounds; road, bmx and newbies, which made for anything but a boring ride!
Fredo and I took the lead to start, and within minutes we had our first horse poop sighting. Most road riders focus on getting around obstacles like this, making sure to warn everyone following. Fredo, Mr BMX, instead took the opportunity to have a little fun and practice his stunt riding. As we approached the pile, Fredo launched into some crazy maneuver and swept the horse poop off the trail with his rear wheel. Startled and amazed, the rest of us took a moment to grasp what we had just witnessed.
We continued on, heading north along the trail. There were lots of groups out, including one large running group. Hmmm, I wonder what they’re training for? Another group of three runners was just ahead of us when Angie announced, “On your left”. In perfect synchronicity, they went from three abreast to a line of three – very smooth!
When we met up with Rob and Don, they made for a nice addition to our group. We all took our turns at the front, but having two more in the mix made for an even more delightful ride. Unlike the previous week, we had a tailwind to head home. Does it get much better than that? It does if there’s entertainment on the ride.
As we approached the bridge over the Des Plaines river heading back from Independence Grove, Fredo built up speed and bunny hopped onto the bridge, getting major air. Yee-haa! It’s not something necessarily advisable or welcomed on a group ride, but on this ride, it was pure entertainment. Fredo and Don were still at the front when we rolled through Adler Park. Don was still pulling strong, but with maybe just a half-wheel too much enthusiasm. Instead of working harder to match him, Fredo decided to even things up by grabbing Don’s seat bag and letting him work a little harder. Handlebar to handlebar – that’s the rule 🙂
With about a mile to go, we were confronted with our last oddity of the day. Running towards us was a man probably in his 60’s and pretty fit. The odd thing was he was running only in a pair of shorts and no shirt – just like Baywatch! Now we could all appreciate that he was pretty fit, but running in 40 degree temps with no shirt on. That’s weird!
Anyway, lots of laughs and bit of work made for a fun and rewarding ride. I sure hope we can get in a few more before winter settles in…