Back to the third grade
By David Heckelsmiller | Aug 5, 2012
Race name: Galena GOATS Ride
Race date: Sunday, Aug 5, 2012
Since I began cycling competitively several years ago, I have had a great many memorable experiences while out riding. In many cases, such anecdotes have arisen from the heat of racing. However, from time to time, there is a training ride that is especially worthy of note. It is this latter event that has driven me to compose a race report today.
This morning, I had an opportunity to visit Galena. The circumstances that motivated me to make this visit are inconsequential, but suffice it to say that the primary reason I hit the road this morning at 4am was not to go riding, although that definitely was a consideration.
At this point, the GOATS (Go Out and Tour Somewhere, http://www.goatscycling.com/) cycling club of Galena come into the picture. Each Sunday, they mass somewhere in the vicinity of the town that formerly served as the residence of Ulysses S. Grant around 8am and embark on a ride to parts unknown. Quite honestly, the destination is inconsequential, because regardless of the direction- North, South, East, or West- one is assured to encounter hills, cows, corn, and breathtaking pastoral awesomeness. This morning, I had the pleasure of joining them for this ride. It was terrific in every aspect- the route, the scenery, the weather, and the company.
However, these aspects are characteristic of a great many rides, and alone do not suffice to distinguish this particular experience from the rest. When I left home this morning, in my haste and half awaken stupor, I brought all the essentials except for one crucial element: my pedals, which were attached to my TT set-up from the Bryce Master 19k the day previous. Of course, despite the sneaking suspicion I had forgotten something from the get-go, I did not realize this critical error until just past Rockford.
It is with this that I arrive at both the solution to my dilemma and the meaning of the title of this report, “Back to the Third Grade.” While still in transit (7am), I touched bases with Duff Stewart, a key figure in the GOATS, native of Galena, and integral member of our Tour of Galena team. By 7:30, after calling God knows how many people, he had found a pair of pedals. However, instead of typical Shimano SPD-SLs, these were your typical clip-less, basket-less stock pedals- something I was far more accustomed to in Elementary School. Suffice it to say they worked- sans upstroke- and in spite of the SPD-SL cleats that were still affixed to my shoes, and a great time was had by all. Thank you Duff and thank you GOATS. I look forward to riding with you again- and with the right pedals.
Now, off to Germany. Yee-haw.