Tandemania! by Wade Nelson

From the desk of Wade Nelson:

The pews were filled and the aisles overflowing as tandems led the High Pines Worship procession on Sunday, August 3rd. Celebrating yet another beautiful day in paradise Pastor Larry praised Gosh! when he saw nearly 50 congregants gathered for communion on a day that called praise to the Creator of the Wheel. Pleasant temps, humidity down, blue skies, sunshine, and jerseys in every color of the rainbow.
Gospel Reading:
Matthew 6:28 "And why ye worry about your jersey? Notice the cyclists in my valley. They never labor but instead spin and I tell you that not even Mercx in all his woolen splendor was clothed like one of them.

Tandems captained and stoked by Larry and Jana, Mark and Patti, Brad and Pat, and Dog, err, Doug and Laurie made for some excellent wheelsucking throughout the worship. The tandems made short work of the upper valley and Pine Forest. Co-setting the pace was racer-girl Carmen, AP's daughter, who keeps pace with tandems without breaking a sweat or any heavy breathing.

Jana warming up on the Great White Hope

Pat and Brad, wearing the jerseys to prove it, recently completed their first RAGBRAI, a seven day eating competition held in Iowa that also includes a bicycle ride. Brad claims to have lost weight which anyone who's ever done RAGBRAI knows is impossible. There was some idle chatter of CHP fielding a RAGBRAI team for '09. With the Pastor Larry's ability to perform "one night" wedding ceremonies and "morning after" annulments, CHP seems like a natural for this annual trans- Iowa event.

Wade #2 and the guy from Garrhs's with the Bianchi led a nice line from Trimble out through the burn area which turned into an attack at the slight rise before the upper valley, just like it always does. This slight rise, not even a hill by Colorado standards, brings out the competitive spirit in CHP Congregants for some reason, followed by a scorching pace through the upper valley where oxygen itself is short for some riders.

Following the attack a very nice double line snaked through the upper valley and Pine Forest, led by Larry & Jana on their tandem with Carmen alongside. Another tandem shot past and took some over the shoulder photos which will hopefully turn out. Hint: With a few lead changes riders could enjoy some truly fabulous paceline practice, but when the pace is excessive, most riders are content merely to wheelsuck the Mighty Men of Gosh.

Some discussion has been held of handicapping or "hare and hounding" some of the ride, perhaps the return from Baker's, in an effort to re-group the pack instead of having it spread out over miles. Then again spread out is probably less offensive to drivers and safer for cyclists worn out by climbing Shalona Hill. A sprint to the finish is typically where a lot of accidents occur.

Carmen, AP, Bob, Wade#2, Margaret, and a few others turned around at the bridge, meeting up with local Perry Pahlmeyer who just happened to be on the course and rode along a bit. The rest of the choir presumably did the big sweat up Shalona. Some driver in a Mercedes SL, apparently afraid to let his tires penetrate the double yellow very nearly brought several riders down when a less-patient pickup truck then passed him AND the pack. Considering grabbing ahold of a 2x8 hanging out of the back of the truck and catching a ride to the front of the pack Wade #2 thought better of getting impaled on it in a sudden stop before also getting stuck behind the timid Mercedes driver

Some photos were taken at Bread, some more at Trimble, and yet more at Baker's Bridge for the new Church Webblog. After the ceremonial breaking of the bread Jana brought out several Ziploc bags of a home grown "green herbaceous substance" which, possessing with intent to distribute, she provided to Jane and other riders. Mojito anyone?

The big news of the ride was MIKE didn't flat. Not once!!! Praise be to Gosh!

Worshippers partaking in this super-sized wheelsuck, err, ride, included Rich & Marcel, Richard, Robert, Debra, Carol, Ben, Connie, Jane, Michael, Larry, Jana, Jane, AP, Tom, Wade #'s 1 AND 2, and a new BuRec guy in a green "Ireland" jersey whose name I think is Rob. And probably a few others. John, still on injured reserve, registered voters at the Bread. And may Gosh bless John.

Mark and Patti - Tandem Masters