During my unemployment, I've been riding with the Freewheelers who go out three times per week during the day; they're largely retired guys (they call themselves "Team Social Security"). Some of them have been marvellously supportive during the worst of my blues with this unemployment, so I had to go today and let 'em know that I had a job offer. There was a proper mix of "sorry to see you go" and "get back to work, you lazy slug".
In many ways, these are the kinds of guys I'd like to be in ten and twenty years.
We met at Etra:
Sixteen to start, and yes, it really was that foggy and misty (and HUMID! Hard to breathe all that muck!). Al P, de facto leader when Dennis doesn't come, had a route he pulled out when Dennis didn't come; it's too hilly for Dennis (although it's not really a hilly ride... but these are riders who would just as soon drive through the Sourlands, thank you).
On the road:
We have a range of abilities, and got spread out; I swept (Al is gracious enough to say he'll miss me when I start working again). Most of these guys don't really need me to sweep; they know where they’re going, and, although they may not be fast, the will get there just the same. They remind me of Terry Pratchett's golems, that go at an unremitting four miles per hour: they're not fast, but they never stop... they'll get you eventually.
We stopped at Phil's.
It looks like I have a few more rides with these guys, and I'll miss them when I go back to work, too... but I will be glad to get back working again.
Route and ride data here.