This is the picture of sadness. It's one of my new Garmin Slipstream water bottles by Camelbak with the "always open, always closed" valves. It's a great product and part of my purchase price helped to support the team. However, the bottle holder behind my seat (holds two extra bottles, for longer rides) is not as great a product. As I ride, and encounter bumps along the way, the bottles have been riding up and falling out. I am now in the habit of reaching back and checking them on occasion to make sure they are seated well; several miles down the road I reached back to re-seat this one and it was gone, and I had no idea when it fell out. I actually found it by accident hours later when driving home from my brother's house. Unfortunately, a motorist found it before I did, and flattened it. Sad, I say. Good thing I have four more.
I went for a ride with my brother today, hoping to get in at least 35 miles, longer if my stomach could take it (was feeling questionable, due to a sleep shortage; worked all night last night, took a nap, and went riding- cycling is more important than sleeping!). We are preparing for the Tour de Camden (yeah, every ride is a "Tour de Something or Other) which is a charity ride in two weeks to raise money for Habitat for Humanity and an organization which cares for retired racehorses (they dress them in plaid slacks and teach them to play golf).
The weather was beautiful and cool as we took off through the country. On a great stretch of road, we were slipstreaming, rotating and drafting, when BAD happened: I was in front and moving over so he could lead awhile, and his front wheel hit my back wheel! I felt the bump of the two and turned to watch my brother, my cycling mentor, slam to the pavement while we were running along about 20mph! Thank Jesus that he was wearing a quality Specialized helmet and some good leather gloves. The helmet is smashed (but his head isn't!) and the palms of the gloves were eaten by the pavement (but his hands are fine). He's got some nasty road rash and some bike repairs to see to, and tomorrow he's gonna be sore, BUT, good safety equipment saved him some real heartache. He'll be fine and I'm glad. My brother is about my best friend, a real encouragement to me, and I enjoy the time we spend together biking.
We called our dad to come pick us up, like a couple of kids. And he came, like a good dad. The older I get, the more I appreciate the family I have left around me. So, tomorrow, it's back on the bike (after I phone my brother and check on him) and keep getting the miles in. Maybe I'll go buy him a new pair of gloves, try to cheer him up about his bike. Life is good in spite of the spills. Keep hammering, and do it with some family!
Be blessed, be safe.