A little and a lot sums up my weekend – and the week previous, really. A little knitting, and a LOT of Bike Rally. Being on the Steering Committee really is more time than just being a rider, or a Team Leader – although that took lots of time last year, and I was already working pretty hard this year, when last week, through a series of events, I became a Team Leader as well. Ken has graciously agreed to be my Co-lead, so I know it will be as fun and easy as it can be. The same combination of events that led to me becoming a Leader again also culminated in a rather epic weekend. One where I swept two rides, back to back, in the rain. The first one was Saturday, and while the early half of the 94km ride was beautiful, if as hot as Satan’s armpit, the afternoon was epic. The skies opened, and it rained, and rained, and rained in huge thunderstorms, and twice we pulled off the road to cower in transit shelters, waiting for the storm to lighten enough that it was safe to ride. The roads flooded, my shoes squished, and every time I sat myself down on the bike seat, the rainwater soaking the padded parts of my shorts was squished out and ran down my legs. It was disgusting, and fierce and I can’t tell you how long it took. Forever. Joe came and picked me up at the end and I shivered all the way home, sitting on a grocery bag in the car so that I wouldn’t soak the seats. (That didn’t work.)
I took that picture in the car. Those socks were white when I started.
When I got home, I had a much needed bath, leaving a startling amount of road grit and dirt in the tub behind me, and pulled together a family dinner for my lovely daughter Amanda, who turned twenty-six this weekend. Then I think I knit a single row on the blanket, and fell asleep on the chesterfield, sitting up, needles in hand.
Sunday morning dawned very rainy and cold, and at 5:30 am I got a text from my other half on the Steering Committee, and the two of us went back and forth about whether or not we should cancel the ride. Was it too cold? (A high of 8 degrees.) Was it too rainy? (100% chance of light rain all day.) In the end, we decided to do it, and both drove over to make the magic happen. We were the lucky ones yesterday – we were sweeping in a car. Every long training ride has four sweeps. Two on bikes that bring up the rear so nobody gets left behind, and two in a car who answer the emergency number, help riders make tricky turns, keep everyone on track and help with flat tires, or riders who can’t continue.
That was David and I yesterday – and as wet and cold as we were for the day, the riders were so much worse off. David and I decided that the best thing we could do was make it as easy for them as possible. It was too cold and rainy for them to really work from their maps, so we’d drive ahead, and I’d leap from the car, and go stand in the road to signal all their turns. (Wet and cold are bad enough. Wet, cold and lost would be so much worse.) It was surreal to see how dedicated they were. Just surreal. One of the hardest rides I’d ever seen, and they all just put their heads down and did it.
My knitting was in the car with me, but I didn’t knit a stitch all day – I was in and out of the car, reading maps, trying to locate them, or running alongside the cyclists shouting their next direction to them. By the end of the day I was exhausted and cold – but not nearly as exhausted and cold as the riders, and I had completely run out of ways to tell them how impressed I was with their crazy moxie. Last night was a repeat of the previous evening. A hot bath, and then I fell asleep with knitting in hand, unknit.
Today I’m catching up. I had a big sleep last night, I’m spending the day at my desk to deal with everything that didn’t get done while I was getting rained on, and tonight, if I can stay awake, I’m knitting the everloving daylights out of that blanket.
See you tomorrow – I hope you can understand the delay on the Karmic Balancing gifts – I’m so tired. I’ll get to them tomorrow. Thank goodness all this is worth it.