Wednesday is listed as going back to La Vwerne. The weekly writeup says:
Power Group: 8:00 AM
Traditional Group: 8:15 AM
Meet at the park behind the Joslyn Center. Wednesday rides have an easier route option for short-distance riders. On request, they will be accompanied by an experienced cyclist with coaching.
I find the Joslyn center nice and early. It is cool so I stay in the sun. Walking back and forth, watching the children arrive at a middle? school across the street. I noticed the "behind" in the directions above and indeed someone even emphasized the behind in talking about this ride yesterday. And indeed, that is where the power group gathers. The normal 10+? riders arrive and we are off. Beth is shepherding a woman with a cross bike instead of the road bikes that the rest of us have. The woman has carpil tunnel type braces on both?wrists. She climbs slowly but stays with us. This is a killer of a day. As soon as they have climbed one unreal set of hills they race down and start up another. More than once I am too slow down and unsure which way to go but somehow manage to stay with them. Dan is looking out for me. Really just the penultimate day. Great love hate relation with the hills. I don't want to see another and I love that I can get to the top.
After climbing every hill in sight, we ride more leisurely through the same motor home park, along the airport and speedway, back to the same breakfast stop as Monday. I get to be chatty Tom at the table. One new woman is interested in my riding in Cancun story and another guy finds out about Software Arts and we talk computers most of the way home. The ride ends with the normal particle disintegration
Thursday will be my last day. It is scheduled to be a repeat of my first CSBG ride, starting with Mt. Baldi and meeting at Victoria Garden. It is raining. Not hard, but spitting. There is a little water on the ground. The riders have said they will not ride if it is raining. Before Cancun, I would have said the same thing. I never ride in rain in NH. But somehow I got a lot more comfortable with rain in Cancun. So I ride the long uphill slog to the base of Mt. Baldi. No one shows by 8:10 so I start down. I'm not at all sure I will go on to Victoria Garden or just home but somehow magically the peddles lead me toward Victoria Garden. I'm making good progress. I almost don't notice that the rain is building. Finaally there is no denying it and I pull under the cover of a gas station awning. After about 10-15 minutes, it becomes obvious that there will not be anyone at Victoria Garden. I might as well go home.
There is a 30? year old man pulled up to the gas pumps with a mini-van. He is cleaning the windshield. I have my emergency-food 15+ dollars in my shirt pocket. I go over and ask him if I could pay him 15$ to give me a ride back to Claremont. He says of course but no money is necessary. Turns out the man's windshield wiper motor has died and he has purchased a solvent for his windshield that hopefully will help the water bead and fly off until he can get he motor repaired tomorrow. He is applying the solvent. While I am waiting around another woman offers to give me a lift but I say thanks, I am all set. The man finished the application, makes room for my bike without the front wheel in the back and we are off. The car is a little messy. Turns out he has just gotten an apartment after some time living in the car. Turns out his brother has just died. Turns out his fiancie of 5 years has just dumped him. God is helping him. He loves his 3 children, 8 and the twins are 6. They are all in school today. He does not have custody of his youngest, her mother does. He is a truck driver. Has an interview in an hour for a higher paying driving job. The solvent is working. And the rain is letting up. We have just driven in a straight line along Baseline road so I am sure the man will be able to find his way back to where I entered the picture. He lets me off. He again refuses the money but I am able to leave it on the seat as I get out and he does not drive back to force it upon me,
I ride home with little rain and the biking side of the Claremont adventure is over. I use my daughters car to take the bike back to Coates Cyclery. All goes well there. I'm ready for a first tour of my daughters office, lunch with a mutual friend who is a student at Scripts and on to the Back Abbey and Brewerys!