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Just a couple of pics from the Major Taylor Velo in Indy.

Attended the annual NITE ride, rode the velo and made friends who ended up feeding a total stranger steak!!!

Kharma must have been in full swing cuz along with free haute cuisine (one of the new friends was a retired chef who, along with tasty contributions from others in the group gave me cause to stretch my lycra a bit), the storms that swept west into Ohio earlier in the day cleared to mostly blue skies by the time the velo was open in Indy... and held until the end of my ride (though I suspect that many of the "stragglers" got a bit damp).

My original plan had been to ride the 100 miles to Indy, do the NITE ride and return (either that night or first thing in the morning). I'd kept an eye on weather forecasts the week before. As time dragged my ass towards Saturday, the chances of making the entire trip unscathed by storms was decreasing... but I still thought it was worth it so all my efforts went into the logistics of the trip. I'd have a cycling bud who was also attending the events SAG a bit o gear to and from. I'd figured on 6 hours to give myself ample time and allow for any snafus. Alas, common sense won out over machismo as I eventually decided to take space in my bud's SUV (ironically, I ended up taking more space than his own gear!)

Indeed, as I watched the radar loops on Saturday morning, I espied a goodly storm system crossing my intended path at what would have prolly been my 45 mile mark. While I felt good about dodging that bullet, I also knew that there was a potential for heavy weather to redevelop in the Indy area later in the day. Still, I'd dodged one bullet.

The trip over to Indy was under cloudy skies with a few spits of rain. But, by the time we were 30 miles outside of the city, I could see peeks of blue!

Hadn't ridden the velo since 2003. Soon after that event, I'd taken ill and was off the bike till 2006. Indeed, my cycling bud had reminded me that even though I'd attended NITE ride in 2003, I was a bit too ill to actually ride it! It was good to be back. While there, I had a chance to experiment a bit with my old Xtreme wheelz (I'd purchased them as an alternative to HEDs H3s (for time trials) but had never really ridden them (again, due to illness). The first thing I learned was... the Xtreme's trispokes didn't like my 'pooter pickup (I hadn't thought to readjust the sensor when installing new wheelz... the trispokes whack'd a few layers off the sensor before I realized what was happening. I gave new meaning to the phrase "burning rubber" as I left an acrid smell around the velo!) Secondly, they are fairly twitchy in winds on a road bike geometry frame (normally, the wheelz would have been on a Tri specific frame). Still, I liked 'em... and they looked *****in' on my Kuota.

At the NITE ride itself, I took up a position directly behind the police motor pace. Experience has shown that, since you're not allowed to pass the motor pace (well, at least not during the first half of the ride) that the best place to be in a pack of 2500 riders in on the point (think Armstrong always riding in the to 20 positions to stay out of trouble). The only downsides to this position is close proximity to a bunch of riders of dubious skills with a need for speed and, attempting to battle the possiblity of a flashing light enduced seizure from staring at the back of the motor pace! Still no crashes that I could see (or hear)... no close enuff calls to cause me to shout out a string of explicatives that'd make a longshoreman blush.

In hindsight, I shoulda snuck off the front. Per organizer's policy, there is a mandatory 8 minute stop in order to let groups form up again. Alas, I dutifully waited alongside the cop until he relit the burner. And then it happened. I noticed a young woman easing off the front. "Oh boy, is she gonna get it!" I thought. From the cop... nothing. After a bit I thought, "OK, he's just giving her enuff rope to hang, then he'll (WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP) reel her in". From the cop... nothing. Then I thought, "Wow, the view is kinda nice from back here... why you sly dog you! you're checking her out!!!" From the cop... nothing. So... slowly at first, along with a couple other riders... I eased off the front... fully expecting the snap of a too short leash at any moment. From the cop... nothing. Soon, the drone of the motor pace faded to the rear. I, along with a few more riders opened it up!

Now, this is not an actual excuse... and after all, once I went with the pack, I pretty much stayed with them till about the last 1/2 mile... but remember that free food? LOAGY! I slipped off the back a bit but considering that I was about to shove the post ride dinner down my gullet, figured it better to spin it on in. Still, I suspect that I was in the top 15. We all know that it is not a race, but we still like being first back to the velo... first in line to eat (they wouldn't serve us at first cuz we got back too fast). After shoving a bit more food in... and a bit of small talk with other riders, we had time to completely pack up our gear and change before any signicant number of riders were back. Kharma must have been giving us an approving final nod cuz during the last part of the ride, we could see distant flashes of lightning in the clouds. By the time we were ready to go, with most riders still out on course, the heavens opened. Dunno how long or how hard it rained (as we headed just east of downtown on I 65, the rain stopped) but we saw nary a drop for the 100 miles home.

Now, a couple days later, I'm still Indiana Jonesing for the Stone Circle of Speed!
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