Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Harvest of Friends

Those long solitary rides across the prairie, and through the creek bottoms, can sometimes get lonely. The sounds of the breeze and the crunching of gravel lull me into a state of calm meditation. I clear the clutter of modernity and finally see the beauty of my surroundings. And then I think how grand it would be to share my find with others.

So like last year, I invited a few friends to ride with me. In an attempt to make it sound like some kind of big-shot event, we called it the Second Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble.

This year the harvest was bountiful. The official count at the start was 28 riders. When the ride was scheduled, I imagined that we might have about 10-12 participate. But thanks to the help of people that have a larger social network and internet footprint than me, the invitation spread pretty far. With such a diverse group, I was a little concerned that we'd be able to help everyone feel like the trip way up here in northern Denton County was worthwhile.

We had our share of misfortune. I am not aware of any injuries, but a few things made the day eventful. A couple of buddies had to drop out after about 8 miles when a hat fell and lodged in the rear derailleur, jammed the works, and broke a couple of spokes. I believe we had two flat tires. The event that affected the most riders was a missed turn. As I understand it, while I was dropping back to make sure we were all intact, the group at the front all thought "the other guy" knew where he was going. So they rolled straight off course.

Fortunately, I had mentioned that we'd be turning left on FM 922 to get to Rosston. So even though many folks took the long way around, we all ended up at the famous Rosston General Store at pretty much the same time.

Mrs. Pondero decided to drive up the Rosston General Store...just in case. That turned out to be a pretty good idea. Three riders had time constraints and didn't really have time to "ramble" all the way back with the group. When you have someone as loving as Mrs. Pondero around, even a no-sag ride, isn't entirely without some niceties.

Other than those minor complications, we rambled through the countryside...

...on mostly gravel roads... a leisurely pace... perfect, cool, crisp, late fall weather...

...across the windswept prairie hilltops...

...up a few climbs to keep it interesting...

...zig-zagging across meadows...

...accelerating into the creekbottoms...

...and stopping occasionally to take a breath and soak in nature's bounty.

As the sun sank toward the horizon...

...things began to have a golden glow...

...and we rolled down the last hill...

...content with an outing awheel...

...with a wonderful harvest of friends.

Thanks for coming everyone. You made my day. I just might have to do this again next year.


  1. That looks like a lot of fun!

    Thinking I should schedule some travel to line up with the next scheduled outing...

  2. At least one of those "climbs to keep it interesting" was steep enough that Chandra dropped down into first with the mighty Rohloff hub and I got a little rear wheel spin. Mrs Pondero can't be thanked enough. SHE was smart enough to have a map with her and she didn't even give it away!

  3. I think I may have been "that guy" that knew where he was going.

  4. Lisa (Your Favorite Daughter)December 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    I think Carey would have enjoyed this ride. Maybe next year!

  5. Chris,

    Thanks so much for hosting us. We appreciate it more than you can know.

  6. It was a great ride. Thanks for everything to you and your lady.
    Peace :)

  7. Man, I hate I missed this ride! Perhaps it should be more often than annual. Keith

  8. Man, I wish I could have been on this ride! Perhaps you need to do this more often than annually. Keith

  9. Very cool ride!

    I need to get down your way for a ride sometime.

  10. What an incredible turnout! It's fascinating to see how diverse the riders are, and their bikes and other gear. Did you have any idea so many people would show up? By the looks on their faces, it seems a great time was had by all.

  11. Jerome, Carey, Keith, and David, as I told several individually, if you ever want to take the time to come join me for a ride, let me know. We do not need to wait for next year.

    Apertome, when folks started sending me email requests for directions to the start, I began to get an idea of what might happen. I realized that it would stretch my organizational skills. Fortunately, everyone seemed to overlook my limitations and make a pretty good day of it.

  12. What an amazing turnout!!! So great to see so many folks wanting to "ramble".

    Interesting to find that like with our RCCS efforts, the more the merrier, but also more the varied tempi and agendas. Looks like a real success tho. Ramble Ride Captain of the year.

  13. thanks chris! the whole fort worth gang had a blast. I cant wait til next year, but Im sure I'll see you before then. please pass along my thanks to Mrs. Pondero for the hitch .