May 10th Ladies ride was great. We were blessed with sunny weather and dry conditions except for those who splashed their way through the ford . By the way, I neither plunged, paddled nor dipped my big toe into the ford . My method of execution, major easy gear, follow the previous girls' line, take it slow but forceful, ' viola', dry land We all, at some point, lead the group, and in true democratic fashion, we unanimously chose our route along the way. Rachel suffered one puncture and two blowouts (i think that's bike lingo) prompting a prime opportunity to learn some new mechanical skills. Caroline showed the group how to dismantle the rear wheel, replace the inner tube, and reconnect the wheel - a valued lesson. Thanks Caroline!! All of the group was very helpful at handing out pumps, spare inner tubes, and puncture kits, except for me In the future, I will pack all necessary mechanical instruments and spare inner tubes (bar the kitchen sink) into my backpack - Sorry ladies!! Adding to Rachel's bad luck (torment), she tried to retract a bug from her eye ( I tend to eat them) and subsequently fell off her bike. I confess, I too have had the odd little topple myself - you're not a true biker until you have the bruises to prove it
The fire roads were easy enough with a few rough gravel paths and easy breezy slopes. My bike (not me) seemed to gravitate towards graveled areas, sizeable rocks, and tree roots making my bike rattle and shake - time for a new bike I think . Occasionally, we met a slopping road that allowed for a fast and smooth ride - giving all a few moments to ponder the gorgeous surrounding view. But what goes down must go up!! The hills were steep and challenging, but conquerable. I have to admit, my ego got the better of me this day. I positioned myself well, clicked into an easy gear, leaned down close to my handle bars, and made my way up the steep pathway between the two houses that weaves its way up to the sleeping policemen. Half way up there - I was on a roll, 'WAHOO'. Still on my bike, I shouted, " out the way girls I have thighs of steel and I coming through" (what was I thinking). Two peddles later my bike hit a dirt hump and stopped. There went my ego - deflated like a cheap rubber balloon. I thought for sure those thighs were going to get me up the hill . I think Helen and Maria had a giggle. Marjory and Caroline conquered the hills like champions. That's my goal, conquering the hills without stopping or needing resuscitation at the summit
Regardless of a few mishaps, our ride was fun and smooth, with a number of tough hills to grunt our way up!! Fun ride ladies.