Tuesday, November 08, 2011

My Alabama Russian ride

I was able to catch up with the Birmingham Bicycle Club for the Russian Food Festival ride.  Program marshal Eddie Owens has been the ramrod behind this event for over 20 years and has developed quite a following.

We rolled out of the Cantina (restaurant) near downtown Birmingham at 9 am.  My rural roots were challenged by this urban exit through factory areas and across railroad track junctions.  About 7 miles out we hit some country road, with a few small climbs en route.  All good fun and great camaraderie with this new crew of cyclists.

Our destination was the Russian Orthodox Church in Brookside.  Crowds were already forming for this historic event...which was driven by a full menu of Russian goods.  I went directly to the bakery sale and grabbed a round honey cake.  Others in the group were getting full sit down meals, but the smell of borscht and other cabbage based fare was a bit much for me to consider with a 20 mile return ride.

Cycling is magic in that you can simply arrive at most any town, check out the local riding club and become part of the action. I was quickly assimilated into this inclusive group.  There are different geographies and climates to conquer, but for the most part cyclists stay true to the cause - spinning the crank and sharing the riding experience with others.

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