The Gang's All Here...
As most of you know, I've gone on several cycling tours in Europe over the years. Through these trips, I've been lucky to have gained a great group of friends. We've gotten together in Europe and the US many times and always have fun regardless of the location or weather.
In this group, I'm known as Surly for my unmatched ability to wait patiently for a dozen other cyclists to gather, make bike adjustments, and remember forgotten water bottles, gizmos and anything else that can serve to delay the start of our rides. When I told everyone what I was going to do this summer, a few of them got together and started planning the 'Surly Victory Tour' as an east coast gathering for the group. Whether I was actually able to arrive in time to join the festivities was of secondary importance, but luck was with me and I arrived the same day as the troops began to gather. Seventeen people have joined the fun with the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Colorado and Arizona represented.
The location for our meeting was on the shores of beautiful Mudge Pond, er, the Silver Lake Conference Center. Tim and Anne Hughes are the directors of this church camp site where the sounds of the 1200 8- to 16-year olds that were here over the summer have finally faded. We've had the run of the camp's 61 acres filled with trees, fire pits, a lakefront beach, kayaks, a ping pong table and even Petey, the camp chinchilla. We did manage to get out of camp a few times for bike riding, too. The cycling here is incredible at this time of year as the days have been sunny and warm with lots of quiet, treelined roads to explore around several small picturesque lakes.
The evenings have been filled with wine, great food (David and Christine really out did themselves with a fabulous meal) and laughs. The weather is perfect for sitting around a camp fire. We also had one of the biggest renditions of 'The Name Game' yet with five teams of three trying to guess the names of famous people based on clues given by their teammates. David came up with the name of the most 'famous' person no one ever heard of (anyone out there know who Whitey Bulger is?). Frank got to use his signature charade clue for anyone with the name John (in this case, John Wayne). Tim continued his claim that no sports figure can be considered famous since he doesn't follow sports. And math teacher, Tammy, managed to rig the scoring so that her team won. :-)
Tomorrow, our group hits the road and moves the party to Martha's Vineyard for the rest of the week! I'll post more updates from there.