L has invited me to join her and a group of four veteran cyclists who plan their own itinerary every year. As someone who uses GPS below 14th Street, I am impressed with their independent spirit and confidence. But it is still a biking trip, and that means the unexpected.
Our first adjustment comes with the rental bikes. Three of us have brought their own hybrids; the other three get these (only in blue):
Sigh. Yes, they are clunkers. The first day, we try them on for size.
This is what we look like:
The path is beautiful, but sandy in this area. As the rain abates, we go from open stretches...
But as it turns out, riding the Katy Trail is about a lot more than the riding. For example, where can a girl get a nice cup of coffee? At one of those quaint places we hear so much about in the Midwest? The ones with the organdy curtains, and the waitress who calls you "Hon?"
Going in search of that, gives us our first lesson in humility as we leave the Trail, get separated, hopelessly lost...
We reconvene and mull over our misadventure, trying to gain from the experience.
Says BJ, "I think in the future we should try to maintain unit integrity."
"And," says L, "I think from now on we should go to the regular entry points."
"And that if we want coffee," adds MF, "we should just go to a gas station, cause there ain't no cute places"
"It's just wonderful, we have all these lessons so early in the trip," remarks KD somewhat mournfully.
We have many such lessons to learn.
Meanwhile, we are getting peckish and head towards Windsor.
Fourteen years? Who has shoes for fourteen years? She likes them she says, because they fit her well. And because they belonged at one time to her husband. We can all understand that. We can also see the sole is falling off. One more clip-out and she could be riding the Katy Trail barefoot.
Ever resourceful, L heads to a local hardware store for a strong glue, hoping to salvage them.
Pro Velo Cycle Sport.**
1. If the bikes we brought made it from home OK (not all)
2. If the bikes we rented need a tune up (uh, yah)
3. If they have shoes that are less than 14 years old.
Hooray, they do!
L tries on a pair of shoes, pronounces them excellent on the spot and, much to everyone's surprise, happily lets go of her old ones. I get Espresso Love GU and BJ gets her hybrid bike tweaked (sorely needed); MF finds a good pair of cycling gloves, KA has a gizmo installed and KD's rental is pretty much reconfigured. The shop even stays open late for us, though we are clearly not big spenders. But we are certainly cyclists in need, and they respond in true kindred spirit. We leave feeling good as new.
As we wave a fond farewell...