Our post-holiday SSFT3 was indeed a cause for celebration. With thunderstorms threatening somewhere above, and exceptional conditions carried over from last week's rain, we anticipated a small turn out. Safety and Cap'n were waiting when I, as your councilman, arrived in typically tardy fashion to the 'squito lot. A last minute post from NoCar, and text from B, put them both on injured reserve. So, we three rolled up to the Polly in good spirits.
We were met at the KL by our newly crowned Herr Director NoHandle, who was busy texting his directives to far flung subordinates. As we readied ourselves, and hydrated properly, who but Xteric should pull up. He quickly assembled his gear while we discussed ride leadership. A decision was made to craft a "SS-friendly ride". This was likely THTH's first official decision as Il Capo, and we applauded his effort.
And off we went towards Fleming, via the backdoor, sketchy horse trail. We immediately lost Safety when we turned left towards the spillway bridge and up to MET. Xteric was kind enough to retrace and recover and we commenced with a counterclockwise tour of trail 8. As stated above, the trails were in awesome shape. Little dust, tacky and fast as h311. There was much work related discussion, as well as a recap of Cap's race. We also dissected the training methodologies of various members of FT3. Suggestions were made to incorporate this amount of climbing, that amount of flats, whether SS was a necessary component, and more. In the end, NoHandle summed it up best; Just get out and f'n ride. And that we did.
From the upper Fleming parking lot, we opted for Redneck Rising and then over MET for a descent of the right lip. Said descent gave those gravity minded folks a chance to shine, with Xteric leading the charge. We hooted and hollered all the way down to the lake and a regroup. From there, we pursued a traditional lake loop and then a season-opening swim. Despite children and the elderly present, THTH threatened to don his birthday suit for the plunge. The more modest members kept themselves attired and we all enjoyed a refreshing dunk. All except Xteric, who initially refused to join us. After being reminded of his handle, and the fact he had an Xterra event (which ironically includes a swim) looming, he reluctantly jumped in. Like a fish in water, he began swimming for the far shore. We had to reel him back to shore so we could head for tacos.
Our dear ride leader emeritus joined us for the post-ride nosh, and regaled us with tales of Jackson's birthday party/challenge/sleepover. Zip lines, bbq, Star Wars? We all agreed we'd like an invite for next year. As for tacos, round 1 was divine. The shells were exquisite, the meat savory, but not greasy, and the lettuce and onion plentiful. The sauce selections were the best I've seen in some time. We had new bottles of Vidalia and Red Rooster, and a myriad of old favorites. Cappy went with some old-school combinations, and they did not disappoint. With a buddha-like face, X remarked, " I love tacos, they're delicious". Truer words had not been spoken that night. And then round 2 came, and the serene nature was disrupted. These now swam in fat, and had lost their abundance. Mind you, we are the men (and women) of FT3, so no tacos were left on the table. However, we are also connoisseurs of this most elusive food, and as such have more refined tastes. That said, ice creams followed and joy returned.
All in all, it was neither a short nor a long ride. The weather was neither too hot nor too cold. It was an SS-friendly ride, and as Goldilocks so aptly stated, "it was just right".