I did enjoy the ride today, though, mainly because I met three or four new riders who turned out to be very interesting. The first was Ian, a 23-year old whippersnapper who works for Oceaneering and actually built some of the kit on one of the deepwater rigs we use. His father, who's from Glasgow, was working in Aberdeen about the same time as me (ie, early 80's) but moved his family to Houston when Ian was a kid. He's a very strong rider but took pity on me when we were at the head of the paceline.
My next new friend was Kevin, a pretty remarkable 50-year old who is just moving in to Houston from Phoenix. He and a fellow 50-year old recently won a 24 hour mountain bike race, completing 21 laps of a 10-mile circuit in the allotted time period. He has three boys - the oldest just finished a 5 year hitch in the Navy and is now studying computer programming, the middle son is the top gunner on a Humvee in Northern Iraq (!) and the youngest is still in school. Plenty more Kevin stories -
Another newbie I got chatting with is a trainer at the MAC. He recounted the tale of being in a paceline at 30 mph recently, when the rider in front hit the brakes. My buddy went down and the next guy in the line rode right over the top of him! He broke the frame on his gorgeous Felt bike and had to get a new one.
So it was fun to meet some new people, and it was a good ride too (although the wind coming down the home stretch in front of the Dam was brutal). Maybe I need to reconsider...