Hi, I am a Cannondale R700 SI Triple, and I am Gary's Bike. We are off on an adventure this week, the Braking the Cycle AIDS Ride to benefit the HIV/AIDS Care delivery services of the LGBTCC Center in Chelsea, Manhattan. I guess the best way to start is with a few words about the relationship Gary and I share! Basically I don't ask for much, just a few nice days, and maybe a new pair of tires every now and again. I just got my third pair days before the ride. The cheap bastard waited until I flatted out twice. Do you know how it hurts to ride rim on pavement? I mean like it really hurts...
Anyway I have some new shoes and it turns out that they came in really handy and totally saved Gary's butt but more on that later!
Our journey began last Tuesday, a few days before ride out when I got to take the third train trip of my life, ok it was the stinking LIRR, but at least I finally got somewhere with out having to carry Gary! Anyway we arrived in Penn Station, Like the LIRR goes anywhere else? He (Gary tells me about Montauk, but I have yet to see it, my stable mate Royce sometimes talks about it when we hang in the garage, but I have not seen it yet.
So after we arrived at Penn we rode down 7th Ave. Now I am not telling you that the roads are smooth, but at least we felt safer than out on Sunrise Highway, but then something strange happened. Gary handed me over to this guy who loaded me into this big truck and threw a blanket over me! That was scary enough, but then we felt like we were moving, a lot like when I ride Gary's Van only, much darker, and no wind! Eventually, we wound up in what I understand to be Maryland where they put me on a rack in a church I think, what ever that is, and I had to wait a few days.
But then suddenly on Thursday Night all kind of people arrived, I looked for Gary, but he didn't show up right away, he told me later about something called "In-processing." What ever that is, I mean humans have so many issues, I think I am happier being a bike, and honestly, I think Gary is happier when we are together too. So he hung a nice shiny new number on my top bar and then he patted me and said something about eating dinner with the Church Ladys, Macaroni & Cheese, and Fried Chicken, He must have liked it, cause when he swung his leg across my back and hopped on the next morning he sure was a lot heavier. But I get ahead of my self here.
I spent the night hanging on that same rack, but about 6 in the morning everybody showed up again for something called a service. There they go again humans being complex. Well I guess they like being complex because they keep remembering those who have "gone away" and they keep leaking from their headlights. They call this tears.
Well, FINALLY, after the ceremony we got to take off for the open road. This is when I noticed Gary had eaten so much! We pedaled off into the early morning dew with the sunlight glinting off of the wires and the trees and we got to climb hills! Gary says he hates hills. I love them, especially the part where we go fast on the part Gary calls Down Hill. But I love it all! I don't understand entirely, but something happens to Gary on what he calls the "Uphill part!" I think he is having "relations." He starts breathing all kinds of hard, and he makes weird sounds and he gets all wet and stuff, but he doesn't seem to enjoy it much. I thought humans liked having "relations." Oh well, I just don't understand them.
We got to see some really neat stuff today though. We got to see the Chesapeake Bay, and the Susquehanna River, and White Clay Creek, and some really nice trees and horses. All the other bikes and I had a really nice time with the scenery and all, but the part I like the best is when we get to hang around with each other. it is so interesting how many different kind of bikes get together on these rides. We get to hang with Mountain Bikes, Hybrids, Road Bikes, ten speeds, 18 speeds, 16 speeds, 27 speeds, Aluminum, steel, titanium. And you get all classes of bikes too. I don't like those snooty ones, who think they are "Better Than The Rest of us". But the fact is that when we are hanging around in what the humans call "Pits" or on this ride "Oasises", we don't really care who's got the coolest sneakers, because we are all having fun, just the same...
One of these Pits was on the Chesapeake, which was beautiful, but one of them was also at a Revolutionary War Battleground, where Gary was really impressed with some Rails from the first major railroad ever built in the USA by the State of Pennsylvania. But then he was really impressed by two Cannons. These were the oldest cannons in the USA, cast in 1777 for the New Congress of The United States.
After that we were pretty far in the front of all the riders and Gary was having me chase this other lady and her bike who was really riding fast. Well we were doing really good, riding really, really fast through this dark section of deep woods, when suddenly the road got really really bad! There was no warning at all, no Construction sign, nothing! I guess they had ground off the top of the road and left all this grooved rough road, well this is where the new tires Gary gave me saved his bacon, I'll tell you! We managed to steer pretty well through all of this loose gravel and rutted road. I guess it went on for maybe a football field or so, but it was still on the down hill side so Gary was really careful about the brakes cause he knew if I had to steer and stop all at the same time here, that I could trip and fall and we'd be all in a mess!
Well, we had managed to lose a lot of speed, but not enough! There was this sharp end to the ground up pavement, a kind of a lip about two inches high and we hit it really badly. Well the tube inside my new front tire gave out and we had a really bad flat, but the road was so narrow and it was still a steep down hill so it was a while before we could safely stop and pull over. Well Gary was making all this noise and yelling and saying bad words, but we managed to stop safely. After he calmed down he called the ride boss to get some safety people to slow down the rest of the bikes. So only the first few of us blew out our tires!
Well we made it the rest of the way to the Raddison Hotel where Gary left me with these guys who carried me into this nice cool room where I am writing you from right now. He came back in to visit me after dinner and he took off my front tire and brought it back all nicely pumped up hard and ready for tomorrow. So I guess I'll go to sleep now.
If we can what Gary calls, "Connect Up" tomorrow I will write you again. But if not I will finish when we get home! This is really neat that Gary lets me talk with you guys! I hope I told the story OK! See Ya soon!