My morning was spent doing work around the house - drilling, sawing, hammering - you know, the usual way a girl tidies up the place. Actually I was fixing a kitchen drawer that broke. I couldn't find the right piece to fix it, so i had to find a piece of wood from somewhere else around the apartment and carve it into the ideal size. And with the help of my neighbor, Sharon, I had the use of a power drill which made the job a lot easier! (In exchange for the power drill, I lent her my wire cutters and needle-nose pliers.)
And in the afternoon, I joined the old guys for a leisurely ride - or that was the plan, anyway! I normally wait on a street corner for the peloton to roll by. Once they pass, i tag onto the back. Tagging on today was actually an effort! Instead of their usual 30-32kph, they passed me doing 40! Even through the turns they hammered, sprinting out of every corner! I finally asked one of the guys for an explanation. It turned out that the 72 yr old ring leader was absent so the rest of the 60-80 yr olds celebrated. They turned their pedals in joy for almost an hour until one guy hit the ground. He did a full front wheelie before tipping over sideways onto the cobbles. That must have hurt!
After that, the pace backed down to a modest 35kph but the route did incorporate hills for the first time in my experience. I guess the ring leader was averse to hills as well.
Usually i join the rides without a fuss - nobody really notices me because i hang out in the back. But today was different. When we were stopped at a light, i happened to have stood next to a guy who threw his energy bar wrapper on the ground right in front of me. Instead of just ignoring his dirty habit as i have for the past two hours as he repeatedly littered, I picked up his trash and handed it to him. Instead of apologizing, he tried to defend his actions. Taking the drama queen route, I responded by telling him that I have to much respect for this country and its citizens to trash it. A few guys cheered me on - one of them even told me that i am welcome to stay in his country! Or at least that was my interpretation of what he said. I heard the words blijven, je and belgie. Any dutch translaters out there?
The rest of the ride consisted of two more crashes, some hills and cobbles. Oh, and i was almost dropped from the ride myself. Shortly after i gave the litterer a hard time I dropped my own candy wrapper on the ground. Obviously i had to stop for it, but it was a bitch to catch back onto the group when coach's orders were to ride piano!