By Mary Barron
It was dusk when I walked up to the circle of OBS campers. Moni asked, “Tell us, Mary, why did you get into cycling?” My response: “Well, I’ve been waiting all this time for Jerry to ask me to ride his triplet with him, and now – finally my life is complete!” Several chuckles from the group ensued. It was about an hour earlier, just after the famous potluck dinner, when Jerry had approached me. Nonchalantly he asked, “Do you want to ride with me & April tomorrow?” I didn’t immediately understand the correlation. He must have seen the confusion on my face, because he quickly clarified, “On the triplet.” I couldn’t believe my ears! Of course I would! You’d have to be crazy not to accept that kind of invitation! After all, “It” was the Cadillac (Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, etc) of all the bikes I’ve ever seen..
The 45 mile Sunday route was touted to be hillier than the Saturday ride. I was a little worried. I’d only ridden a tandem once, and never a triplet, much less on hills. Jerry got our saddles & peddles put on, and after a few adjustments we took it for a trial spin. Everything seemed to be in order. April casually mentioned to me that she hadn’t been on her bike for some 2 months prior to the Saturday ride. That further compounded my apprehensiveness relative to my abilities on this most awesome bike. But I knew Jerry was strong. I didn’t want to be the liability of the group though. I’d ridden behind Barbie & Lynette (Jerry’s normal stokers) for quite a while on Saturday & knew how strong they were (not to mention how much smaller & lighter they are!). Questions arose in my mind – could I do as well as they do?
Sunday came & we mounted the bike. With the first take-off pedal stroke, my knee hit the handle bars. I was about 5 inches taller than Lynette, who normally sits on the back. Never the less, we got going. We seemed to pass each group with ease! I was amazed. I was peddling hard on the hills. In the humidity of the morning, sweat began dripping into my eyes. In fact, by the time we reached the restaurant in Sapulpa, I was absolutely drenched in sweat. My thighs were burning, but a sense of satisfaction overwhelmed me. We’d made it half way. And we’d made it to the breakfast stop before anyone else. Of course, there was that infernal parrot on the handlebars (sorry Lynette!). If it wasn’t pecking April in the butt, it was hitting me in the knee with its tail with every pedal stroke.
We all devoured pancakes before heading back to Keystone Lake State Park. On one steep downhill we reached 49.9 mph, before Jerry put the brakes on. I had to keep my head down on that one. Ask Kurt or Wilton about how well I like going down hills fast. Then there was the incident where I do believe at least a couple of people would have liked to have had my head after I (the navigator) took us 3 miles off course, up several hills, and caused us to have to ride back into a strong headwind. They were kind about the faux pas, however, and I quickly relinquished my map so that a more accomplished navigator could take over (thanks, April!). We ended up with 52 miles for the day. But truly, I believe I’ve never ridden quite so hard before! Thank you, Jerry, for a ride to remember!