Monday, June 10, 2013

The Air Force Cycling Classic and a Garden Update

Yesterday, we participated in the Air Force Cycling Classic's Crystal Ride. Unlike a lot of charity rides, where riders cycle a set distance, the Crystal Ride is a closed 16 km (9.9 miles) loop. Cyclists have 3.5 hours to ride as many laps as many laps as possible. The great thing about the ride is the location: The loop consists of roads in Arlington, Virginia around the Pentagon and Crystal City that are never, on any other occasion, open to cyclists. Major highways are closed for this event.

This was my fourth year riding and Michael's third.  The first lap is always uncontrolled pandemonium.  People going for the gold medal (six laps) who didn't have the foresight to arrive early enough to start near the front feel the need to force their way through the crowd. I saw the first major crash 200 yards into the course on the first real corner (Actually, we saw a puzzling car accident riding from the parking lot to the ride start, but no bikes were involved in that).  My strategy for the first lap is to hang back, take my time, and stay out of the way. By the time I started the second lap, though, the pack had spread out and I had a great ride, finishing with five laps (and just a few minutes too late to get a sixth). I can't wait for next year's ride.
After our ride was over, we stayed to watch the pro men's race.  This is towards the end of the race and the pack is pretty spread out. Watching the pros is so impressive. They were probably going close to 30 mph when they passed us in this shot.
The women raced after the men. The women are just as impressive as the men.

Garden Update:
 A blossom on a pickling cucumber plant.
 Edamame flowers.
Here is the whole garden.  Things have grown quite a bit since the last update, which was just three weeks ago..
Lima beans winding their way up a pole.
Potato flowers.
Tomato blossoms.  These are Cherokee Purples.
Sweet corn.  The plants are about 30 inches tall now.

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