Met up with Travis and the folks from About Bikes for their Saturday morning ride. The sensor on my computer wandered a bit during the ride so my stats are a bit wonky for the day, but the pace was pretty good, easily at 22+ cruising speed and some forays up toward 30 when the terrain and tailwinds allowed, and the route is roughly 52 miles or so (not too long). There are a couple of sprints on the route too, so the pace cranked up past 30 for that as well. There were maybe 10 of us on the ride so the group was pretty large and diverse. The ride is advertised as a no drop ride, so there is typically someone around to assist you when you over-extend, and when you're strong you're expected on some level to provide support for the over-exerted. It was a beautiful day, cloudy and humid to start, but the sun came out and the arm warmers went away about halfway through the ride, and the day really turned into one of those days that makes North Florida a nice place to live.
Then I had to drive home through the sprawl of Orange Park, and you're reminded of why North Florida isn't exactly the best place to live after all. Roads near the mall, here on the weekend before Christmas, were nuts with shoppers. Shoot me now.
On the closing miles of the day, a grey Dodge pick-up with a man driving and a woman in the passenger seat, buzzed me pretty close. The woman hanging out the window and yelling "get off the road, faggot!" I'm pretty used to this sort of stupidity from the rednecks around here, and these turds never seem to be interested in commenting to me at the next signal, so you just let it roll off like water off a duck. The sad part, and this is really tragic, is that there was a young girl in the back of the truck, who watched me from the rear window as her parents drove away. I could swear she had a very befuddled look on her face that said either, "why are my parents treating you so bad", or maybe, "Sir, I'd like to apologize for the behavior of my idiot parents. You see, once upon a time in a shack decorated with deer antlers out in the swamp, my grandmother and her father got all freaky and as a result my mother is a little intellectually challenged. Please do not hold this against me, as I am really trying to be a human being amongst this inbred and dimwitted crew."
People, you can hate me because I'm bald, or because I'm on a bike and you're in a terrible hurry, or even because you want to classify me as gay (I guess because of the shorts?...how original!), but please, think of the lesson you are passing on to your kids when you act like a total idiot in front of them. I know my 2 year old little girl would ask me a barrage of questions if I acted like that, including all sorts of stuff that would lead to a conversation (the 'talk') that she doesn't need to be introduced to for years to come. What do you say when they ask why you acted the way you did? "What's a faggot?" "What's sex?" "Why do you care, mom?" How do you make your explanations sound even remotely logical? Do you drool on your shirt when you're talking? Can you even spell the word Drool?