The Fifth Plain Wrap Ride
Saturday morning, bright and early for some, less so for others, the 5th Plain Wrap Ride rolled out from annual sponsor and host, Coates Cyclery. (The Plain Wrap Ride, if you did not know, raises funds for various regional cycling organizations and their projects benefiting the cycling community.) The skies were clear, sunny, and before long, turned very nearly scorching. I talked to a number of riders who left before the scheduled 8:00 or 9:00 start (depending on which distance was being ridden), some as early as 6:30, just so they could avoid the heat. Practically speaking, for just about every one else, that avoidance was an impossible dream. I don't know if anyone else noticed, but all those bike suspended on the racks by their saddles, reminded me of a Salvador Dali painting complete with melting tires, dripping to the pavement below. The riders who rode in on those steeds, meanwhile, sought out what shade could be found whether it was a narrow band of shadow cast by the shop building, in line for a cold beer provided by the Last Name Brewery (formerly Dale Bros), or gathered under the big tent where misters sprayed constant relief upon the heads and shoulders of weary riders.
I must say, though, that except for a brief moment when a beer supply problem caused some fear to run a shudder of panic through the throng, there was nary a frown, nor disparaging word among the gathered. Even the one casualty of the day, whose Pappas Artisanal employees were busy cooking up dishes beside their blistering grill, could joke his way past a skinned-up leg and the chill of a massive ice pack draped over his shoulder. The ever cool sounds of the Claremont Blues Society no doubt cut through a lot of the discomfort, as did the beer and other cool drinks, but when all has been said and done, the main reason for all the good times in evidence, was simply due to the good people we found ourselves surrounded by.
I don't normally do slideshows, just because they are extra work, but I decided, for the Plain Wrap Ride, to group some of the photos into one. If you forgot that the day was a warm one, you can turn on your volume and let Frank Sinatra sing to you about the Summer Wind. You will also find the same photos (and more) in the usual Flickr album.