Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I felt the need for one more practice session before attempting the Gruene run. Monday morning about 9am at my usual place, Old Settlers Park, was the plan. Fortunately, my Guardian Angel interceded. Several things came up that prevented me from leaving at 8:30, but I finally got out at 9:30, somewhat overdressed in tights and base layer. The extra clothing would have been needed for Plan A, but the sun blazed in a clear sky and the temperature rose rapidly.

Anyhow, Monday mornings usually is just me and the maintenance guys. But when I turned into the park, about a half dozen cars came with me. Strange. I turned into the first parking lot and no one else was in it, and the other cars kept going. As I unloaded the bike and prepared for my first warm-up lap, I noticed cars upon cars driving by. This did not bode well. But they weren't soccer moms, because the fields were empty. I warmed up for a quarter mile until I saw a line of cars coming from the other direction, all being directed into the grass overflow parking area on the left. On the right were zillions of pre-schoolers and parents. Pook, ding-fu! It was, afterall, Halloween and Old Settlers Park was hosting a party of some sort. I stopped to ask the parking director how long this would last and he advised until 11am.

I turned around, made it back safely to the car and drove home, re-structured my chores, had lunch and returned about 1:30pm. Had my GA not kept me home, I would have been half way through practice when the hoard decended. As it was, I had another great practice, in shorts and jersey. The wind came up a bit for the last three laps, but I was grateful I had an uninterrupted 16.5 miles.

As an aside, I'm old enough to remember when tractor-trailer drivers had to double clutch to change gears. We had a car that occasionally wouldn't go into gear unless you did it. To explain to those who are clueless (and might remain so if they never initiate a manual transmission), in order to change gears the driver had to push in the clutch, shift into neutral, release the clutch, then push in the clutch again before going to the next gear, thus double-clutching.

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