Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I’m a better scout than I am a leader; if I were in the army or on the Lewis and Clark expedition, my skills (such as they are) would be put to much better use by sending me off ahead to scope out the territory than by putting me in charge of showing the group where to go.

Some of the reasons for this include:

1) My sense of direction, while not terrible, is more approximate than exact. My usual way of finding someplace is to just keep wandering around in the general vicinity until it shows up.

2) Efficiency is not really that big a deal for me. I’m not particularly bothered by having to backtrack or climb an extra hill or three; while I don’t totally buy the aphorism that the journey is its own reward, I’ve come to terms with the realization that most of the places I might be heading for aren’t especially better than the places I’m already at.

3) I’m relatively slow; any group I might be in front of, I’m not likely to be in front of for very long, and it’s tough to lead from behind the pack, especially when numbers 1 and 2 above are in effect.

All these factors were in play last night, as I showed a small group of riders the general shape of the route for Saturday’s Tour de French Fry, albeit in a backwards direction (counter as opposed to clockwise, I guess you’d say), albeit with more than a few missteps and inefficiencies, including, even one checkpoint that I somehow managed to miss in the dark and coming from the wrong direction.

Still, it was a fun ride on a surprisingly dry night and featured the very first (to my knowledge) .83 police escort, all the way down First Avenue from Denny to Pike, then up the hill past Boren where we were wished safe riding by the cop from his cruiser’s loudspeaker.


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