Last night was a CIBA ride out of Franklin, one of our Thursday night rides. We were having a fine time, riding along as usual, enjoying the beautiful weather – when 20 some miles into the ride, a woman driving past stopped her car to warn us that the road was closed off up ahead. Now, we knew the area had seen some substantial rainfall of late, but we decided we might as well investigate anyway. We biked over the next ridge, only to discover a massive, hundred-yard portion of the road completely flooded over, with strong currents of water running across the road into the a ditch. We stopped and admired these wild, untamable farmlands – then a fellow named Dave, riding with us, decided to ford the river, charging ahead on his bike.
Dave is 77. He was the strongest rider in our group, and we looked on in awe as he took on the mighty Cornfield River. He rode about three quarters of the way across, then was forced to dismount (in water over his knees) and forged ahead on foot. Everyone else remained a safe distance from the water, venturing only to snap pictures and shout encouragement. Once he’d reached dry land, we waved goodbye and biked back the way we’d come – leaving Dave on the other side of Cornfield River as he had declared that there would be no turning back. The rest of the ride minus Dave was lovely, as we discovered a new road and extended our typical ride by a few miles.
Here we are in front of a Franklin landmark, seven miles or so from the finish. (Not pictured - Dave, who had forded the cornfield, and Dad, the photographer.)
Once we arrived in the Franklin city parking lot, we visited with one of the local Lions who was preparing for their Spring Fish Fry, and were reunited with Dave – whose quest had been extended by further surprise water features. He was, of course, just fine and happy to chat for a bit before announcing that his wife had baked a cake and requested his presence.
I doubt I’ll ever have Dave’s stamina and bravery, but he’s definitely become my newest cycling inspiration.