Yes, even though it’s October 3rd, today’s PEACHES ride (aka, Tandem Club of Georgia) was technically the September PEACHES ride. Once again, not a lot of juicy, torrid or even interesting anecdotes to share from the ride… aside from the fact that it was the first time Debbie and I had ridden the tandem since that August 29th ride: ouch!
As with every PEACHES ride, the parts of it that we participated in made for a good time spent riding with good friends on a good route with good roads with good weather. The ride start time was 10am and began/ended in Rome, Georgia… located in Northwest Georgia and about an hour-long / 43-mile drive from our home, noting we were probably closer to the ride starting point than anyone else who participated. I believe there were 8 teams on hand, including our hosts Jose & Sherry Rodriguez.
The ride route is a well-worn circuit that we visit at least once a year, sometimes twice when we participate in the annual “Up The Creek Without A Pedal” fund-raiser. The original plan put forward by the hosts were two ride route options: 30 miles or 60 miles. As often happens, one of the teams who was familiar with the ride route proposed a 40ish mile option that seemed to be a better fit for the 8 teams, ourselves included, on what was a very cool feeling day: 58°F at start time vs. the more common 85°F – 90°F mornings that we’ve faced for the past three – four months.
Anyway, you may recall from our August PEACHES report that our lack of riding had put us in poor form and faded about 3/4 of the way through the ride. Well, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, today’s ride was the first time I’d swung a leg over a bike since that August 29th ride as my evenings and weekends had been consumed by my shed and garage projects. So, today’s ride was absolute torture for me… and not a whole lot of ‘fun’ for Debbie who had only ridden her single bike twice in the past month. We were able to hold our own for the first 10 miles of relatively hard tempo ridden into a 10 mph headwind, but after that we began to fade. At about the 14 mile mark we bid our other friends adieux as we decided we’d simply turn our ride into a 15-mile out-and-back for a total of 30 miles and call it a day vs. hanging around for the post-ride lunch gathering. This allowed us to get back home with time left to allow for several errands, washing Debbie’s car and my motorcycle, etc. while monitoring some of today’s football games.
On the up side, the PEACHES ride became a forcing function to get us away from the house and back on the tandem, albeit for what ended up being a solo ride for the last 18 miles as our lack of fitness came into play. Moreover, today’s lack-luster performance should provide a catalyst for both of us getting back on our bikes with a lot more regularity and discipline over the next several weeks so that we can hopefully enjoy some of the longer routes at the upcoming Southern Tandem Rally in Florence, Alabama the weekend after next.