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After a night of on again/off again rain, we awoke to a sunny morning. We made PB&J’s for breakfast and then packed down our tent and loaded our bikes. Before we even started riding, the three of us noted that we had already broken a sweat, an indication that it was going to be a hot day.
We rode out of the park, following our GPS and found out that there was a rear entrance that was amazingly flat compared to the hilly entrance we had used to come into the park the day before. We had programmed the GPS for the local McD’s and started riding. We again got onto Route 50 but were soon directed to Route 7. We stopped @ McD’s and I posted my prior day’s blog. We also made a pit stop at the local Walmart because the Beast got the sudden urge to crochet. She remembered packing a crochet hook before we left home so she picked up 2 skeins of yarn, in “complimentary colors”.
We rode out Route 7 under the blazing sun and enjoyed the wind that our riding created. I noticed that Frankenbutt was falling behind and told the Beast that we would pedal slowly until he caught up. When he rejoined us, I asked if he was OK. He said that he was but that his rear wheel felt super sluggish. He checked it out and found a new “grinding” sound that he didn’t like. He made a few adjustments and said he would “make do.”
We rode on, taking a break for lunch around 2 in the afternoon as we entered the town of Columbus. While sitting outside near our bikes at the local Subway, a tall, young, thin, olive skinned man sheepishly approached and inquired about our ride. We gave the basics to him and I could see a bit of excitement in his eyes as he listened. He had that adventurous look and I had to ask if he was a fellow cycling enthusiast. He said that while he lived in his homeland of India, he had ridden a motorcycle over 4000 kilometers up an iconic mountain there (which the name of escapes me as I write this). He lit up talking about what he called the best adventure of his life. I was enjoying his story when an older man, apparently the store manager, called him back in to work. I was sorry to see him go.
After lunch, we got back onto our bikes and followed the GPS to the park where the Columbus BMX track is located. The park was empty so we found some picnic tables in the shade to lean our bikes against and began checking emails, text messages, etc. I was glad to see a text from our daughter, the Editor, and texted her back that we could talk if she wasn’t busy. She called immediately and filled us in on her new courses, professors, etc. She was especially happy that she understood at least 80% of what her new Spanish Language professor said during class. It’s an advanced level course that she wasn’t sure she was ready for. We talked until she had to go to her next class and then we lounged about the picnic tables until riders started arriving for the Wednesday evening practice.
We had talked with the Track Director, Shane Kaysher, a few weeks ago but we had no idea what he looked like. Luckily, we didn’t have to guess. When the third car pulled in, the driver put his window down and said he was Shane. His son, Logan, in the back seat introduced himself, too. He invited us back to the track where we met a few other BMX families. While we talked, Logan and the Beast made their way to the track.
After a few runs, the Beast said that the track was smooth and nice flowing. She liked it. Frankenbutt encouraged her to try some manualing and she was eager to refresh the skills she had learned at Ohio Dreams. Her first few runs looked awkward but then about the 4th run, she looked fabulous! Well, that is, until she “looped out” and landed hard on her butt and hands. All the parents jumped up off the bleachers and Frankenbutt bounded to her side. She had tears in her eyes and was obviously sore but fought back the urge to cry. After a bit, she stood up and walked off the track, brushing the dirt off her back side.
She sat on the bleachers for a short while and answered questions about her view of our long bike ride. Then a young rider approached saying that he was having trouble with his gate starts. The Beast jumped up and offered to do some gate starts and ride the track with him. When Frankenbutt learned that he had trouble “balancing” in the gate, he offered to show him a “gate trick” that usually works well. It worked for Connor and his dad thanked Frankenbutt for the wisdom.
In no time, practice wrapped up and the sun was setting. We said goodbye to the BMX families and the track director and began setting up our tent in the field next to the track. Before it got too dark, Frankenbutt opened up 3 cans of tuna and dumped them into one of our mess kit bowls. I opened the individual mayonnaise packets I’d been saving from our fast food stops, and began mixing it up. I smoothed the mixture onto what was left of our wheat bread and we ate with our head lamps lit. It was quiet and soon the conversation turned to the fact that we are ever so close to meeting our ultimate goal of arriving in Louisville in time for the Grands. It was a great way to end a good day.