Friday, October 9, 2009

Rain-out One Day, but Great Riding the Next

Yesterday's riding got me to Russellville almost entirely on secondary roads, with some OK and AR mountain passes to get there. That evening I had dinner with a small group and one of the fellows - Bill - mentioned that he'd scouted out a gym and was planning on getting a little workout in on Friday morning before going for a ride. I have a hard time getting my running in when on the road, especially if the hotel I'm at is not in an area where I can take to the road on foot and get some miles in. So I jumped at the chance to go to the gym with him.

I awoke to heavy rains this morning and the forecast for the day made it obvious that no riding would get done before lunch, possibly for the whole day. Bill and I headed out on foot in search of the gym that he'd learned of from the hotel desk clerk. We headed in the general direction of where it should be and walked around in the increasingly heavy rain until we finally cried "uncle" and stopped at a Fairfield Inn for directions. One more block over and we still couldn't find it in a road that looked like it would disappear into a dirt track right around the next bend. So Bill poked his head in the volunteer fire station while I jogged down that side road a little ways and...lo and behold! I turned and ran back to the fire station where Bill was just exiting and pointing where I'd just come from.

It was a great little gym, with only one other person working the circuit machines. Bill got to work on those machines and I stepped onto a treadmill and decided I'd run for as long as Bill worked the weights. An hour and 6 miles later, we both decided we'd had enough, but I was quite happy with the fact that I could get a longer run in, since I'd be missing my weekend long run back home.

Still raining out, so Bill and I walked to a nearby Cracker Barrel where we had a good breakfast, and then headed back to the hotel to see what everyone else was up to. Groups of folks were hanging outside under the overhang or in the lobby area. We learned that the hotel manager was treating us to a pizza party at lunch time. Still digesting my breakfast, I sat and chatted with the others while they enjoyed their pizza. About two hours later Bill and I walked over to the Subway across the street for a later lunch then stepped next door into a biker shop called Twisted Grip. I purchased a neck buff and a pair of lined gloves, since I neglected to bring warm enough gloves and it had gotten quite cold since noontime. We then walked down the side street a couple hundred yards to a giant Honda motorcycle dealer and killed some time looking at the bikes, chatting with the staff.

Still raining! I pretty much gave up hope that I'd get a ride in this day and resigned myself to the fact that I also would not be getting national park stamps in northwestern AR or in MO. I could get an AR stamp on Sunday on my way home and really don't need MO since I will have gotten 25 states by the end of the year, enough for the certificate. Besides, I may get up into MO before the 12 months run out next April.

Hanging around the hotel was a great chance to spend more time with folks that I rarely get to spend time chatting with at other MTF events. Dinner that night was at Colson's Steakhouse next door, where our group took over one whole side of the restaurant and where we had a really great group meal.

Tomorrow: Weather is supposed to clear out and we're to have a cool and partly sunny day. Let's ride!

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