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I’m not sure how many times I have done the Ten Speed Spoke Longest Day of the Year ride. Seven, maybe eight times. During our ride in 2009 one in our group got a call from her daughter that Michael Jackson had died. Funny how we relate stuff like that to our bike rides.
On this day, 10 Speed Spokes had a pre-ride fruit table with apples, oranges and watermelon, along with assorted flavored water and sport drinks. At the end were were offered those things in addition to all the pizza you could eat, juices, soda, water and two coupons for locally brewed beer.
An estimated 200 riders came out on this overcast cool evening for the 18th annual ride. There was a 45-35-25 and 15 mile option. Knowing the city pretty well, I was able to avoid the major climb that takes the 15 and 25 miles riders to the finish line, by bailing out of the arrowed course early, giving me a 19 mile ride. Being in the first dozen finishers also guaranteed us hot pizza and cold beer.
It was quite a thrill riding the tourist lined streets of Newport, RI and we became an instant attraction for the camera and smart phone crowd.
As the band was setting up, a man living across the street approached and asked to see the live music permit. He knew full well they didn’t have on because it’s he who issues them. The bike shop put up a bit of an argument to no avail and the band packed up and left before most of the riders returned.