First the glory, so that the ignominy is a mere footnote. Basil and I were up before dawn, and on the train at as the sun came up, in order to meet up with our leader, in Philadelphia, for a group ride.
Lots of reflection through the train window, but you get the idea. Great sky; glowing lights.
Apparently, ice cream is not for breakfast any more. Ben and Jerry’s was closed at 7:30 on Saturday morning at 30th Street Station.
Ice cream was unnecessary, though, as this was the Donut Run, the second in a progressive series of weekly rides which increase in distance by ten miles each week.
I resisted the temptation, but was sorry later. The guys explained that these are no ordinary donuts; they are different, and better: Philadelphia-style donuts, maybe with yeast, maybe without, but with texture to them. Excellent texture.
Mike and Tim were all smiles — Tim was demonstrating proper donut consumption technique here, and Mike knew his were in the bag for consumption later.
The first ride in the series was 25 miles. The second turned out to be 33, but Basil and I ride a bit to the meeting point, so I was coming up on 40 when we finished. Naturally I couldn’t stop shy of forty, so I determined to go all the way, and did, in fact. ride.
Forty-point-thirty miles in all. Whoo-hoo! That’s the longest ride I’ve taken on Basil to date, and it was a wonderful! Oh, the glory!
Based on my experience, no one need fear the Brompton as a longer-distance bicycle. Basil performed like a dream, and the ride was smooth and comfortable all the way, with just the solid, sweet, soft purring of his rear wheel steadily clicking along. Forty miles of pure bliss!
Unless we are stopped for snacks, I don’t usually get a chance to snap photos on these rides, but I did get this one of part of the old canal system, along which we frequently ride.
The last quarter mile was, though, as suggested above, ignominious. I fell, for the first time, while riding Basil. Not for any good reason, either. I was packing on that last little bit of mileage, hit my target, and prepared to make a U-turn on the path. After carefully (hah!) calculating the distance between me, Basil, and an oncoming jogger, I made my move.
As I was watching Basil’s wheel go off the edge of the path, as planned, I realized what had gone wrong. Mud! I had forgotten that the asphalt path was lined on both sides with mud. (And, apparently, I’d looked, but not seen, the mud I hadn’t remembered.) I was holding Basil’s wheel at just the wrong angle, and we slipped sideways.
Oh, the ignominy!
The jogger ran up to us, and offered me his hand, and then helped Basil up, too. I landed on the side of my knee, which was not happy, smashed the side of one hand, and bruised my arm . . . but that was all. Basil was completely unhurt, much to my relief.
I guess the moral is, if you’re going to miscalculate badly, do it at very slow speed — also, commit your folly within sight of a kind fellow human! I was very grateful to have been pulled up off the path in a moment when I’m not sure I could have managed it myself.
My knee seemed to work, so I got right back on Basil, rode another eighth of a mile or so, and then parked and ate lunch. There’s an egg salad sandwich with tons of onions and minimal bread hiding in that waxed paper bag. I’ve rarely been quite this happy to have an excuse to sit by a river side and eat.
We eventually made our way to the train, and home.
. . . where I discovered that Mr. Diarist had been busy in our absence.
Dolsot bibimbap for dinner! Just the food to sooth the flustered spirit — and the aching bruises.