Sunday, November 20, 2016

Welcome home-coming

Roger and I had originally planned to ride home on November the 5th. We wanted to come through the Cajon Pass, meet our friends at the McDonald's on I-15, and then stop by one of our local breweries on the way to the club's usual ride starting place (at the Stater Bros. lot on Alabama and Barton, also known as "Stell's" for the coffee shop there.)
We received a beautiful bouquet and gift basket from friends

Well, the accident changed all that - we certainly were not going to ride down the pass once the tandem had been wrecked - but I still wanted to celebrate our return to town and have a chance to say hello to everyone and put a bit of an exclamation point on our trip. It didn't feel right to have just arrived in town, battered and bruised, in our friend's pick-up truck, and in the dark of night, to boot. That's like a big ellipsis on the trip, and not at all satisfying . . .

So we put the word out via the newspaper, our FB posts, the club web site, and our blog, that we would be at the Escape Brewery on Saturday anyway, inviting people to come and say hello and visit for a while. I had no idea what to expect. I figured there would be at least a few of our cycling friends there, since we all like to drink beer! Other than that, I just couldn't speculate.
Cycling buddies at the party

Since arriving home, Roger and I had gone on one short ride on Thursday, starting out with the morning group and circling back after a few miles so that we probable went about ten. That was plenty for me. My bike feels very flimsy and insubstantial after the loaded tandem. Plus, while I have just finished riding a bike for hours each day over the past six months, in reality, I have not piloted a bicycle in all that time. So my bike handling skills, not very good under the best of circumstances, are really rusty. Still, we wanted to ride over to the party, not drive, so we arranged to meet the club riders Saturday so we could do at least a token ride with them Saturday before the event. We talked with one of our buddies and asked that she let us know when the group was on the way home, and that way we could ride out a bit and come back with the group.
Bridge buddies

That worked pretty well. Saturday we got our call, headed down Barton Road, and soon saw the vanguard of the group returning. As it turned out, there had been a little mishap with a couple of the riders, so this group was waiting at the top of hospital hill for the rest of the group to untangle itself and join them.  We waited with them and then headed back to Stell's when the others caught up. Actually, we ended up at the pizza place for a slice and a beer, and then we rode on down to Escape at 1:00 pm for our "homecoming party."
Roger shows friends the map of our travels

I was surprised and delighted with the crew that came by to say hello, give us a hug, and hear a bit about our trip. We had friends from the cycling club, our church, and the Redlands Conservancy come out. Our good friends and neighbors were there, and there were even a couple of people that neither Roger or I knew, but who had been following the blog, and they rode over to say hello.  It was another example of the warmth of this community, and made us both feel really fortunate that we call Redlands home.
Friends and neighbors

Neighbors and friends!
And we are glad to be home.

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