When smoky skies became real to valley residents instead of just scary stories told in "did you hear" breathless phrases, Donna and Gary turned tail on the Southfork Sashay opting instead for a ride on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.
Most of the club chose to follow. By Saturday morning there was little question where wisdom lay--flat on its back in bed. TRCers, however, saw it otherwise. If the air was unhealthly to the east, well, go north cyclist.
And so it was we found ourselves driving through heavy smoke and wondering just when we would ever come out of it into the promised clear air and sunshine. By Plummer the sun was brighter, but definitely filtered through layers of smoke. No one questioned the wisdom of riding and we were joined by numerous other trail users despite the hazy conditions.
Helen opted to take her birthday miles ride north with us. Clearly the valley was no place to be riding 70 miles. If you showed up at 10 for her ride, you were disappointed. All the more reason you should register so you get included in last minute changes.
Hey, do we all get credit for attending Helen's Birthday Miles ride? Granted we didn't turn back at 35 but we only went a total of another 15 miles. Double credit for riding in the haze should be a no brainer. Or is it that riding in the haze shows you're a no brainer? I'm confused. Too much hazy riding, I suppose. Or maybe its the drugs making me lightheaded.
Bill Arnold says he "got a wild hair" (though it was Paul sporting the wildest hair today). He bought a travel trailer. He and Marcia had pulled the trailer up to Heyburn State Park Friday afternoon. I knew that park was close to the trail, but didn' know it was less than a mile away. Bill thought it would be cute to ride up the hill to Plummer to meet us. He blew his timing--far more hill than he had expected, I guess. Instead as a dozen of us made our way shivering down the hill, we almost hit an uphill cyclist. I nearly called out Bill's name, but stopped myself. Surely he'd have recognized us. I was near the middle of the group. Linda remarked, "That sure looks like Bill Arnold."
And sure enough it was. He was just seeing if he could get past us all before being recognized. Cute guy, that Bill.
Denise Smith joined us despite having an appointment at 5 that pressed her a bit on the return. Denise was right behind Paul and me from Harrison out to where she had parked her car at the base of the climb. I accused of her just trying to beat the heart patient. One way or another, though Denise, in her purple, shirt was pretty constantly either in my mirror or out front.
Paul and Gary pulled pretty hard going out. I knew I couldn't keep my heart rate down though I tried to hang on until I decided it wasn't worth it. Gary hung back pacing the group on the way back. Paul had once again shot off ahead by himself and it was all I could do to resist swinging around to give chase, but I was good. The heartrate goes up as the temps rise. It was now in the 70s and the ladies in front of me were holdng a steady 17 to 18 mph. I was content and my HR swung between 120 and 130.
Paul and I got away early from Harrison. We were alone except for Denise who claimed time constraints were pushing her. I could feel Paul pulling. The closer we got to the climbi, the harder he went and the harder it was for me to keep that HR in line. I had two choices: slow way down and crawl up the hill and probably still see my HR above 130, or ignore the HR monitor and just ride what I felt. I'm out of my 30 day window of greatest concern and so I hung on as best I could to Paul.
Until, yes, Paul's stopping. A flat! Yes!
The club got by us as we fixed that flat which meant I'd be dead last up the hill. I told Paul I'd get started and let him catch me. And he did, matching my pace for a time before he took my brief accelerations as a challenge and spun off. I answered.
We found the group resting half way up. "And what is your HR," Linda wanted to know. I ignored her but Donna wouldn't let it go.
"You didn't tell her what your heart rate was," Donna reminded me.
Actually Donna had also issued a group order earlier: We need to all wear our new Jerseys on a ride and get a group picture.
"Yes'm. Right after Paul gets back from Maui.
For the ride of it, Corrie
More pics from the Plummer Pickup Ride