Last Sunday, May 17th, I rode in the Lock to Lock bike ride, sponsored by Andy Jordan’s bike shop here in Augusta. It’s an 18 mile bike ride from a lock on the Savannah River that is near my house to a lock on the south side of town. Last year, Joy and I rode in it, but this year, I was on my own. And this year, I rode down AND did the return trip back to the start.
We began right at three o’clock. I wish I knew how many people participated. I would guess a few hundred. It was a beautiful afternoon, though thundershowers were expected. I decided to try the ride, even though I knew we might end up wet.
The ride took a different route than it has in well over a decade. It was almost exclusively ridden on packed dirt with just a few miles on paved road downtown and a little bit on gravel and some on grass. It was definitely a ride for a hybrid or mountain bike.
The southern destination was a parks and recreation department park area with a covered pavilion and delicious catered meal. There were lots of great door prizes and give-aways. As usual, the meal was outstanding!!! I really need to do some group biking with one of the local bike shops so that I can get to know more people, because, for the most part, I rode alone and dined alone.
But, I have to tell you, the ride back was treacherous. I stuck the camera to my face in this shot. You can’t see the line of raindrops that were hanging onto the lip of my visor. I really struggled against the rain. The clouds were dark and ominous and a few times, thunder rolled from one direction of the sky, across my head to the other direction. Lightning streaked across the sky …….. and I prayed …… HARD. God was merciful. There were no injuries from lightning and it only struck a few times, though we had heavy wind and thick rain for the first 8-10 miles of the ride.
We’ve had some nice warm weather for a few weeks. Days have been in the 70’s and even 80’s. Nights have been in the 40’s and up to the 60’s. But, this storm was bringing in some cold. So, the wind was hard, the raindrops were full and the air was cold. After riding through all of that rain, my thighs got very cold from the cold water and harsh wind. It took me QUITE a while to warm up when I got home. A hot shower wasn’t even enough. After I got into bed, I began to shiver uncontrollably and ended up adding a heating pad between the covers. Only then was I able to warm up and sleep.
I really considered calling for back up by the time I hit downtown. I was so cold and worn out from fighting the wind. But, Andy and his son, Drew, were at one of the covered rest stops. When Drew told me that he was tired, as well, from fighting the wind, I realized I wasn’t quite the wimp that I had convinced myself I was. I found a group of three others who were sticking it out and we traveled together the last 7-8 miles. We got back to the first lock after 8:30 …. much later than I had ever thought we would.
All in all, I’m proud of myself to doing the ride. I didn’t quit and I finished without injury. Round trip was almost 40 miles, and honestly, I really wasn’t sore the next day, although my fanny needs a little seasoning. The saddle of the seat left me a little tender for a day or two. So, I’m already looking to the future wondering what ride I can do next. Would you like to join me?