Off to the Races

Friday Night Lights

We bicycled yesterday, but it wasn’t anything like what’s pictured above. That kind of weather is more like today’s. No, it was quite pleasant out, the calm before a weekend full of storms. Oh well, into each life some rain must fall. This picture is from last September, the Friday of Labor Day weekend. Being the unofficial end of summer, this weekend is always packed with festivals. The one pictured here is the Gateway Cup, a weekend of bicycle racing. This is a scene from the first series of races that are held on Friday night. Three more series of races follow each day of this three-day weekend. It always seems to manage to rain for the Friday races, but not usually as much as is pictured here. Normally, just enough to make the pavement a bit slick, adding that extra element of danger, as the cyclists take those sharp corners at 30 MPH, on those skinny tires.

We’ve been attending these races regularly for many years. Photographing them has always been a chore. You are in the dark trying to snap fast moving objects. Not a good combination of conditions for my point-and-shoot equipment. Still, as these two examples prove, even a blind dog sometimes finds a bone. The first one happens to be the only picture that I have sold, albeit to a friend, but even so, it was an unsolicited sale. I went online and had it printed on metal through a mail-order service. It really turned out quite well, better looking than on-screen.

Women’s CAT 1 Race Line-Up

Anyway, back to yesterday’s ride, a ride with a purpose. Our bike buddies, Bill and Mary had planned on hosting a party today, celebrating Bill’s 80th birthday. We’ve attended many of their parties over the years ad were certainly looking forward to this one, but you know, plans changed and the party had to be cancelled. Instead, we were asked to swing by their house and sign a poster for Bill. Being such a nice day and they being bike buddies, we cruised on over to their place via two-wheel means of locomotion. We were outbound, the first time we swung by and met Bill, wished him happy birthday and talked with him a good long while. Unfortunately, Mary who is a college professor, was teaching a Zoom class and couldn’t break free to see us. What was worse is that only she knew where the poster for us to sign was.

We promised to come back and headed over to the park. They live closer to it than we do. For a weekday, the park was relatively crowded, with too many people on the bike path. We stuck to the roads, but even so, there were several too-close encounters of the socially unsafe kind. It might have been safer to travel on less bike friendly streets. After, we had ridden far enough to get our “steps” in and long enough to give Mary a chance to wrap up her class, we returned to their home, spoke with Mary and signed the poster. Mission accomplished! Happy birthday, Bill!!

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