Cool People.

The other night I did a local shop ride. A couple hammerheads were there, but most of the riders were of the "Primal Wear semi-humorous beer-themed jersey" type. You probably know more than a few. Nice, welcoming guys, but a quick glance at their mid-sections confirmed I wasn't going to be dropped on this ride. After a series of eye-bleeding group rides, it was a welcome change.

They introduced me to routes I hadn't considered before, giving me new inspiration for future weekends. Worth the price of admission (free). They kept the pace reasonable, so I had a chance to see the sights and learn the turns instead of focusing purely on holding the wheel in front of me. Another nice change.

At the turnaround, one of the hammerheads jumped. Not thinking, I chased, but reacted too late and ran out of gas halfway across the gap. I throttled back to a reasonably painful pace and spent the next couple miles reeling him in. The group got smaller and smaller in the distance until they weren't there anymore. When I finally made the bridge, I was cooked, and fell into my usual mode of douchebag wheel sucking. The hammerhead was happy for the company, so we continued on until the end of the ride, finishing about 10 minutes before the main group.

Afterwards we all sat around the front patio of the shop drinking beer and talking bikes. It was as calm and relaxed as I had been since I got down here. Given the circumstances and my general dislike of the Gulf Coast, everything was just about as good as it could have been. A moment when all of the stress and discontent that characterizes my visits to the region seemed to melt away. 

Amazing what hanging out with cool people can do for a negative aura like mine, even if only for a little while

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