I met my Uncle Dave Waas at the Dutterer Family Park in Westminster, MD for the 2011 edition of the Tour de Carroll a charity ride round hilly Carroll County. This is our second year participating in this ride and our second year getting rained on.
We started in a light, cold shower and it continued steadily for about an hour. Then the rain let up and we enjoyed a cool ride the rest of the day. They altered the route a bit from last year. The area is quite hilly and very beautiful. The new route avoided a few of the most imposing slopes but offered plenty of steady climbs, each with a grey, foggy vista of it's own. Quite beautiful even in clouds and mists.
The area suffered some strong thunderstorms and one or two confirmed tornadoes last weekend. Throughout the ride we saw the freshly downed trees in the wooded areas, fresh stacks of cord wood where the debris fell inconveniently across the road or driveways. The aromas of farm country are also wonderful, dairy farms, spring blooms and in a few spots the fresh cut cypress and oak from all of the cleanup.
I was surprised by the turnout. I don't know the final numbers, but I counted close to a hundred riders. This on a ride that might have attracted a 300 - 400 on a nice day. I arrived a bit early and it didn't look promising at first, only a small handful of us. But as the start approached the crowd arrived, we all exchanged cheerful grousing about the weather and suited up for the day. Clearly a little sunshine would have brought out more, but those who arrived were ready to take the tour at the appointed hour, in whatever conditions we would find.
Riding with my uncle is always inspiring. He clearly shows the benefits of a lifetime of healthy habits and exercise. Demonstrates I'm doing the right thing pursing similar habits, even if I took them up a little later in life.