Monday, April 25, 2016

How Many Cyclist Fit Under a Bridge?

Ahhh, one of our favorite times of the year – Spring. Opening day for Baseball had come and past and now it was time for biking. The morning arrived for the Cincinnati Cycling Club’s Spring Opener, and what a glorious morning it was. The air was cool and moist when Velo Junkie and I left home. Within the first several miles of our commute the clouds were dissipating and the warm rays of the sun were vaporizing the chill of the morning dew. By the time we reached the assembly of cyclists the sun was high in the sky and folks were already shedding layers of cycling gear to let the warm rays caress their skin.

The original plan was for all to meet in the archways under the Purple People Bridge, a large, open park that would easily handle a large number of riders. Unfortunately the park was occupied by the Cincinnati Flower Show, another iconic spring event. It was too late to move the event so the only option was to meet just outside the gates of the festival…On the sidewalk…Near the road…

Everyone was courteous to leave the sidewalk as unobstructed as possible but the great weather brought a large number of cyclists. The occasional jogger or baby stroller had to maneuver to get through all of us but, since everyone was enjoying the day, the atmosphere was congenial and they took the large number of brightly clad riders in stride.

Velo agreed to appease me and go with the short group, especially since we would have an extra 12 miles or so due to our commute to and from the ride. We headed east on Riverside Dr. toward Lunken Airport. It was a well matched group of riders and we managed to keep pace, single file, in the bike lanes. 

We made it to the halfway point and regrouped at Armleder Park, passing and waving at many other groups of riders on the way. The park was all a bustle with runners, families, dog walkers, and golfers. The trees were laden with colorful blooms and the tulips, animated by the wind, bobbed along the bikeway.

One wrong turn, which is always compounded with a large group, resulted in a climb up a short hill, crossing some very rough railroad tracks, and a brief stint down a rather bumpy alleyway. No harm, no foul, we were back on track to be one of the first groups to the watering hole. It was smooth sailing to the Purple People Bridge.

Hofbrau Haus had just started to buzz with the early spring patrons ready to enjoy a tasty German pint in the outside beer garden. Our little band of cyclists was no different. Velo imbibed in a Hefe Weizen, I in a Dunkel. A sausage platter t share and we were refueled for the commute home.

There is something truly gratifying about sharing a meal with a group of enthusiastic cyclists. You may not know their names but they become comrades-in-arms none the less.

After lunch and a little friendly banter with some old and new friends Velo and I readied ourselves for the commute home. It’s nice when you can just jump on the bike to ride home.

I guess we will have to wait till next year to answer the question “How many cyclists fit under the bridge?” - and maybe pay the toll to the troll! 

Here's a short video of the short Ride

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