Having put 1500+ miles on a rental car over the weekend (and riding a grande total of 10 miles Friday-Sunday) it was really nice to be back on real wheels today. Might ride the Gazelle tomorrow, by request. We'll see waht I've got to carry... and if I can find the ductape to put a working light on the thing. THe byhootiful generator light won't go on even when I whack at it a lot now :( (I don't *think* I whacked it so much it burnt the bulb out... tho' when I turn it over to the shop I'll include that little box with the spare bulbs.) Rode with the mellow Monday 'cause I was in the mood. Amusement at flat-fixing as our fearless ride leader efficiently got tube out, replaced, and tire back on rim, and then proceeded to pump it with both hands on the pump, the wheel flailing in the air. In delivery considerably better than an attempt at staging it would have yielded, a relatively new rider speculated "It would seem that that would put a lot of stress on the stem... I've just never seen it done that way..." and just after the assurances from fearless leader that it seemed a perfectly good way to manage the task... Whack! the stem is beheaded and all the air escapes.
A compromised rim tape compromised the next tube, but a gu-pack boot and perhaps not inflating to full pressure got us back on the road. We were passed by two ladies in Ragbrai jerseys and I was compelled to pass them to charge to the top of Kirby per the BonDurant Rule (tho' instead of his "Must Keep Accelerating No Matter HOw SLowly On That Hill ON Kirby" - which is hardly even a hill but because it is long, you are TOAST if you do it - I used his other small-incline invective: "20 at the top! Mush, you huskies!" since we were already on the last mile of it. We averaged just under 15 for the ride without anything remotely resembling a paceline (more like 5 pairs of cyclists, three carlengths between each pair); the lack of "formation" has been noted by some riders. Even when we're bunched up, it's basically a "the leaders will pull" deal.