So, last week I was telling you about how Lance Armstrong is coming to the Harpeth River Ride, this being the big annual "t-shirt ride" hosted by the Harpeth Bike Club (HBC).
(In case you're curious, Lance wears a Medium t-shirt. So does Bjorn Selander. Ben King gets a Small.)
I was telling you about it because this ride has been taking up a lot of my time lately. And the sad thing is that I'm probably only going to get to do the first seven miles of it. This is because RandoGirl and I have been assigned to escort Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore, and Brentwood Mayor Paul Webb. They've got other appointments that day, not to mention the fact that we need to have State Trooper escorts, so they can't do the full century. Instead, they and a couple of other members of my club will peel off the route just before the century hits open roads and every Fred in a five-state radius tries to prove that he can hang with Lance.
Okay, I'm not bummed about missing that exhibition.
I would like to have ridden the century, however. I helped design it, and it's got some really pretty roads. It would be interesting to see how the pros handle Pulltight Hill, but it would be even more fun to watch them enjoy Choctaw, Flat Creek, or Swamp Road. I like to show off smooth roads with pretty views.
We did ride the other three routes this past weekend, however. RandoGirl and I did the metric route on our tandem, along with Jeff Bauer and Fredia Barry on Jeff's tandem. We did it very fast, since we wanted to finish before the day got hot. That part was fun.
The part that wasn't fun, however, was when we started trying to follow the road hickeys we had put down the previous weekend. That's when we found that they weren't ... well, they weren't very easy to find.
I mean, you could see them if you knew where they were supposed to be and if you looked really hard, but the colors kind of blended in with the road. I had expected that the green and blue markings might be hard to see, but even the yellow and red arrows had somehow faded ... baked off by a week of temperatures in the 90s.
A lot of HBC members were with us, and they noticed the same problems. RandoGirl and I went back out Sunday morning to ride the 21- and 44-mile routes, just to make sure. It confirmed our worst fears -- our day and a half of road-marking was not enough.
Fortunately, the HBC is a great bike club. That afternoon, the great minds of the club had figured out a solution, and the great souls of the club had stepped up to volunteer to implement the solution.
Basically, the fix was to just go back out on the route and spray-paint a white box around each set of arrows. We also added a few more white paint notes regarding route splits, potholes, and upcoming rest areas, just to make sure that riders kept one eye out for white paint on the roads.
RandoGirl and I went out Sunday afternoon and touched up the 21-mile route this way, with the result being that the markings were then very visible. Once this was confirmed by a couple more people, a dozen other club members went out on the routes Monday and finished up.
Problem identified. Problem averted. Thanks to a "remarkable" group of people.
(Sorry. RandoGirl came up with that pun.)