Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Wednesday Afternoon World Championship
It must be the same the world over - a group of cyclists meeting at a bar, cafe, etc. for the purpose of riding together. They mill around, pick up each others bicycle and remark on how light or heavy it is (though you don't hear much about how light or heavy the RIDER is) and eventually the ride takes off. And just like most of these rides, whether it's the "Donut Ride" in SoCal, the "Shootout" in Tucson or the locals in Sioux City, these folks can't seem to resist turning the ride into a RACE. This ride is no exception, they were big-ringing it right from the start. Wednesday afternoon in January and there were 30+ riders here! I showed up once last year and backed off right away, asking if anyone wanted to RIDE rather than race? This time I sat in the back in order to take a few photos before letting them go. Note that cars are passing this unruly mob, opposing traffic both using one lane while the cyclists hog up the other. There are a few blasts of horns from motorists but no shouts, threats or crazy swerving around. You can also see how bundled up these Siracusani are! Balaclavas, booties, full-fingered gloves, the works! Funny thing is, for this fat guy from Iowa it was an arm warmers, wool socks and knickers day at worst, probably 60 F average, a bit more in the direct sun if you're out of the wind. Right after I shot the photos of the pack, I dropped off, catching a few stragglers before turning off this busy road and meeting up with another group coming the other way. These guys were from Canicattini, doing a loop onto a flat road past a prison, very popular because it's wide and flat. Once I figured this out and they slowed down I went on towards the town of Floridia where I stopped to take the photos of the churches on this gorgeous, blue-sky day. After this I wound around back to the east and picked up a familiar road back to Siracusa/Ortigia, seeing a few more cyclists along the way.