2023 Breakfast with Martin
By Morris Garagian
At the last Steering Committee meeting, Bro Martin suggested a breakfast run to a favorite foothill locale. Of course, Green Goblin & Morris were in; it is always great fun to push Wee Red Beastie up the hill! With minimum notification time, it appeared not very many VBACers would be able to attend. As it was, this turned out to be safety beneficial.
The morning of June 17 saw a red Mini and two MGAs ready to traverse Watts Valley Road. Bro Jay & Morris have been trying to get Jay’s son, Nick, involved in our LBC hobby and with Nick’s affinity for Minis, it was a perfect opportunity for him to check the riding capability of Martin’s car.
After quick greetings, Wee Red Beastie was off. After allowing a little catch-up time, Goblin was ‘clutched out’. Across the flat stretch, the red Mini was in the distance when Goblin decided it was time to push a little. By this time, the flat stretches had turned into the familiar twists, curves, rise, & fall of Watts Valley. Making a rise and just coming off the hill and making good headway, we topped the rise and Horror of Horrors, the windscreen was filled with bicyclists everywhere! The entire right lane was filled with brightly clad 2 wheelers, five abreast and seven deep (approximate). Even worse, the opposite lane was occupied by a pickup pulling a horse trailer and the right shoulder was non-existent, a drop of at least 2 feet.
Of course, immediately the Lockheed discs were locked up and Goblin’s engine/gearbox took an extreme beating with the downshift to second and the Rs screaming as a result. Morris was wishing for air brakes and/or a boat anchor!
After the few moments of absolute terror, the heart rate returned to normal and all major orifices became unpuckered. Before long, we were able to get around the gaggle with a friendly open- handed wave. Many returned the salutation, but a few had some one-fingered responses.
Morris must report the rest of the tour was pretty uneventful. We did have a few more encounters of the close kind, but only with small groups of 2-5 riders. Nice scenery the rest of the way. Bro Rich & his Alpine, Miss Kitty, met us at the Tollhouse Grill. Here we found out that the bicyclists were part of the Tollhouse Century, a planned bicycle race with 110 participants. The breakfast was good, the conversations better, and the return trip less crowded.
‘Til next time,
Safety fast! (Well, maybe a notch slower)