We were invited a couple of weeks ago by Ron to participate a fundraiser for the Assembly of God Headquarters benevolence fund. It’s a small ride of primarily AG Headquarters folks of varying abilities that loops from the Positronics plant in NW Springfield out to Willard and back for about 25 miles.
When we got there, we were both amused and honored to see the notice above taped to the registration table. Celebrities? Us? When Pam saw that, she warned me to be on my best behavior. No snot rockets or anything else obnoxious was allowed for the morning. Geez…talk about taking the fun out of things!
Mike was going to join us as well as Brian, another friend from church, but as ride time approached, they were nowhere to be seen. I finally called him to see if he was getting close, but his reply was that he was waiting in the parking lot, and where were we? Turns out he had gone to the wrong Positronics plant. Luckily, Brian had driven and it was just a few minutes away. As they pulled into the parking lot, Mike saw me with my camera pointed their way and let out a big scream because he knew he had just become blog fodder!
We hurried them through the registration process and were soon on our way. We rode to Willard in a small peloton consisting of Mike, Brian, Paul (a guy just beginning to train to be a chaplin), Tim, Shane and another who’s name is escaping me. If you’re him, please forgive me. Mike pretty much set the pace, leading off the front and waiting for us at highway and street crossings. If you look closely at the picture below, you can almost see him as a blue speck way out in front.
This was our first chance to ride with Brian. He lives not very far from us and owns a small machine shop out in Rogersville, so he ends up riding a lot of the same roads we do. We’ve actually ridden past his shop several times as we go out to White Oak Road just east of Rogersville.
As we pulled into McDonalds in Willard, Mike took the opportunity to evangelize Tim on the benefits of bull horn handlebars and even gave him a chance to ride his bike. That’s probably not a good thing. The poor guy probably came back drooling and deciding he needs a new bike. That bike is one sweet ride!
Ron did an excellent job of organizing and leading this ride. I believe they raised a record amount for their benevolence fund, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Pam commented later that the entire group seemed to be a bunch of really nice people!
I failed to get a picture of Ron’s gracious wife Jan beside him. I think she as riding sweep all day, so she played an important part in the ride as well.
As we headed out after our rest stop, our little peloton of seven bikes was intact, but Mike kept riding off the front. At one point, I decided we needed to show him a thing or two, so we picked up the pace a bit. When we did, we dropped a couple of guys, but Tim and Shane stayed with us. I kept watching Tim and could tell he was having to work pretty hard, but he managed to stay with us the entire time! Good job!
Just before we pulled into the parking lot, we got to take a forced break when we got caught by a train!
Notice the cue sheet pinned to my back? That’s a trick Pam and I learned quite a while ago. She’s much better able to focus on it than I can, and it gives her something to keep occupied with. In addition, it greatly reduces the number of wrong turns by the captain!
We had a good time riding with the group and really appreciated the invitation!
But….our riding day wasn’t over. Afterward, we parked at Evans Road and went solo to Ozark for lunch. Our destination was the Riverwalk Jazz Café. It’s a foo-foo tea room type of place just off the square in Ozark.
We’ve eaten there a couple of other times, but yesterday just wasn’t their day. They had a good crowd, but were short on help and running out of stuff right and left. I was disappointed. I had chosen that place thinking I would get a nice piece of pie. I had to settle for a cookie!
One thing that was interesting though, was that Larry was adding to the big mural on one wall. It’s been a work in process since we started going there, and it looks to be about half-done now.
We finished the day with a total of 50 miles on the bike. Here are the GPS tracks.
In all, a good day to be on the bike!