With all the R-12 streaks and the dogged pursuit of the next SR series, we randonneurs are all about milestones. Saturday’s permanent gathering was about another kind of milestone. The human kind. Fearless Leader Al turned 70, and the local riders turned out to celebrate with a 70-mile ride.
Al has been an RBA since before there was a RUSA (he began under International Randonneuers, the forerunner of RUSA). We owe a debt of gratitude to Al for hosting the local series season after season. He’s the guy who launched our randonneuring careers and who encouraged us to pack up and head overseas to Paris Brest Paris.
The route we rode Saturday is one of Al’s favorites, Clyde's Curious Critter Chatham County Cycling Circuit. So of course we set off at 7 sharp to cover the 70 miles (give or take a mile or 2, but who’s counting? Oh right, we are.). The main attraction along the route is Clyde’s folk art collection in Bynum. Pix below. See if you can spot the slightly political message.
What a great day for a ride. The prevailing southwest wind held off until we’d made the turn onto old U.S. 1 and Pea Ridge. Translation: tailwinds most of the way home. Talk about sailing the Seven C’s.
Mike O arranged pizza and cake at the finish. A fine day was had by all. In fact, we had so much fun we’re planning to hold a birthday ride for Al every 10 years. We’re looking forward to his 120th birthday, where we’ll do 1 mile for every year and also hit that R-12 milestone.
Happy birthday, Al! Here’s to many more birthday celebrations....