Yesterday was one of Jack’s great Waverly rides. Groups of cyclists drive to Waverly, Virginia, and spend the day cycling together through the beautiful countryside around Waverly and Surry and the Chippokes State park. We did 58 miles.With temperatures hovering around 93-95 degrees, it was a hot day.
The terrain was very flat, and green, but there was evidence of a need for rain. The wetland areas appeared to have low water levels. We left the parking lot in Waverly just after 9am, and cycled to the 18 mile mark, where we had watermelon, Gatorade, iced water,cookies and grapes for refreshment. Then we headed out again. The next stop was the information and visitor center in Chippokes state park. Many of us gathered, made sure everyone was with the group, or accounted for, some had refreshment, and then we headed out again. Back to the rest stop and it’s wonderful, cooling fluids and some necessary calories. With over 30 riders on this adventure, there was a lot of wonderful fellowship, and affirmation of friendship. With just 16 remaining miles, and a scorching sun overhead, the riders headed back to Waverly for a mexican meal at La Hacienda.
The meal was delicious. Fourteen or sixteen of the riders stayed and chatted and laughed together completing a wonderful day of cycling together. Of note, there were several flats along the way, and lots of help offered with each incident. One rider took a ‘spill’, avoiding a rough spot in the road.
In an effort to reduce the use of gasoline, another cyclist and I shared the ride. I drove, which is only significant as the following story unfolds.
We were on I295 with both bikes on my one year old bike rack. I had Itzhak, the Surly Long Haul Trucker on the rack, closest to the car, and my friend’s “lightweight bike” on the rack in the position farthest from the car. This prevents excessive pressure on the downward supports of the bike rack.
CHUNGK!!!! Something happened on the back of the car! A quick glance through the rear windshield, revealed much more “view” than there should have been. The bikes were sinking. As smoothly as possible, I pulled off to the shoulder of the interstate to investigate the problem. The 2 straps that anchor the Thule bike rack to the car had snapped. Yes, just broken! The Thule bike rack was suspended only by the 2 side straps. The bottom straps were fine also. This is a one-year-old Thule bike rack. It came from Performance. What in the world happened? When the straps broke, the entire rack jumped, or rapidly slid down the car, gouging out channels in the hatchback. Fortunately, my companion’s NEW bike was fine and my faithful Itzhak was, also.
I’ll be writing to the bike rack mfg, to let them know this has happened, and to give them the opportunity to replace the rack, and to offer some compensation for the damage to my car. They do need to know that this happens. I’ve had bike racks that have lasted a decade! Why would the strap deteriorate so rapidly?
I’ll try to remember to follow-up with the response from the rack company later.
For now, Thanks to Thomas and Shirley for their hospitality yesterday;0) Thanks to Jack for always providing a wonderful ride route for us. To our friend that fell,
“Take care, and I hope the stiffness and soreness abate quickly.”
Go make your own breeze, and remember: if you’re not having fun; you’re in the wrong gear.