Every time I led a ride to Northport something would go wrong. Well, maybe not every time, but the last three times. Now I only go to Northport when someone else leads.
It was a very hot and humid day. It was the day of the annual Tour De France pool party that a guy in our club had every year. I was leading a remote start ride to Eatons Neck. The lot was close to his house so we could go straight there after the ride. The ride started well. We went to Eatons Neck passing through Northport. We went down to the beach to take a pic and refill our bottles. On the way back I started to cramp up really bad in both legs. After that we headed straight back which cut our ride short. When we returned to the lot we saw the other groups there. It was so brutal out that we all cut it short. We got to the party early and cooled off in the pool.
About a month later I led another ride to Eatons Neck. The forecast was hot and humid. I decided to add miles and ride from my home in Fresh Meadows. I picked my group up from the lot and we made our way to Eatons Neck. We took a pic and went into Northport for lunch. The clouds moving in were a deep gray color. We made it into Northport when it started pouring. It was an unforecasted downpour that flooded the streets and continued on for about an hour. We were hunkered down in the pizza place. The town even lost power. While we were there a couple of us had a beer. The new guy was tipped off that I lead better with a cold one in me. As soon as the rain died down and the flooding dissipated we started making our way back. The guy who knows all the roads led us back. We trickled back in sub groups. I arranged to get a ride into Queens from the lot with one of the guys. Not far from the lot I got a puncture flat. The guy I was with called his wife to come pick us up and gave me a ride into Queens rather than changing the flat. That was so nice of them. I’m not sure I ever properly thanked them for that but I was ever so grateful.
A few months later, in the fall, I led a ride to Crab Meadow. There would be no lunch break on this ride because I had tickets to see Cirque Du Soleil. I was so excited to see it. About 15 miles into the ride I had a flat that we changed twice before we realized that it was a blowout. The ride was further delayed as we had to wait for the guys to come back from the bike shop, which was a couple miles away, with a new tire. My bike uncle got me that tire and I never really paid him back for it. The group all stuck it out with me and we continued on. We went into Crab Meadow and took a pic. From there we went into Northport and got separated. I took a wrong turn with a small group and we had to backtrack… up a hill. The group wasn’t at the restroom stop. I called them and they were ahead but they waited for us. We all made it back to the lot in the late afternoon. So much for a quick ride…. My friend and I still made it to the show on time after having a nice dinner in the city. I was mesmerized by that amazing performance.
Thank you to my friends who were always there to help me out whenever I needed a helping hand. In time I’ll either repay these favors or pay them forward.