Hello.  It’s back to school now. It’s lesson time. Listen  up. Please pass me that pencil so I don’t miss the main points. It can be head-scratching without notes. Yes, it’s September, and the warm weather continues unabated. Aren’t we normally clad in seasonal clothes by now – toe caps, mini gloves, gilets, and arm warmers, to name just a few pieces of the cold weather kit. Yes, I know, I wear arm warmers year round. It’s a bit of a problem, that – like a child not wanting to give up his soother. I wonder if it’s stress or some other psychological issue. Is there a doctor in the house?

Here’s the tentative plan for Saturday, assuming wind is from the east, south-east:

Meet at Stinsons at 7:30 am 7:30 am and ride to Kanata.

As for the ride, sometimes you just can’t get enough of a good thing. Yes, you’re right if you guessed we’re heading south-east again. Who can resist the favourable winds that allow us to ride in that direction, after so many weekends of riding north and west. Novelty is all. So, we indulge in the fair weather while we can. The cold awaits another day. Who knows, our cycling brethren from Kanata/Stittsville may join us?

Here’s the Route: Ride to Starbucks on March Road via Hwy 17, Galetta, Logger’s Way, Kinburn, Diamondview, Panmure, County Rd 5, Carp, etc; home via Old Carp Rd, Second Line, Murphy’s Rd, Marchurst, Stonecrest, Galetta Side Rd for a total distance of 103 kilometres, with the coffee stop at kilometre 46. As usual, it’s steady as she goes, with minimal delays on the road. Bring gels, bars, water, electrolytes, etc. Liquids will be a key element tomorrow.

NOTE the Venue and Time: Stinsons on White Lake Rd 7:30 am, sharp departure.

Temperature will be in the low twenties; wind E, SE at 15. Who wouldn’t want to ride in that?

Alert: Important information: These are ‘no-drop’ group rides, except for the hills where it’s every man for himself. Regroup at the top. Honest effort required by all. New cyclists welcome.

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Okay, Ride your bike! Bye-bye, ac. Comments always welcome at arnpriorcycling@bell.net; https://twitter.com/ArnpriorCycling

On Standby

Pass me that small pencil, sharpened nicely
At both ends, a pencil with two eyes,
And up for anything – a screed, a scribble.
The gold and navy stripes, still visible,
Might be school uniform – the low-slung tie
Of anti-fashion, mocking and awry.
The pupils do their time; some pencils sidle
Off desks and drop and vanish. But the word
Is out, this pencil says, when a bright-voiced
Young teacher names the mist in someone’s head.
And the kid stares, and sees the point at last

A pencil starts from scratch, like anyone.
It knows hard graft, despair and knuckled tension,
A shadow flickering like a footballer’s –
Designed for transfer. It diminishes,
But leaves hard copy, proofed by crossings-out,
Forensics of the rubber, and the bruise
Of graphite on our fingers. If you’ve never
Nibbled at a pencil-top, you’ve never
Tasted words.

Pass me the pencil! Yes,
I’ll leave it by the keyboard, just in case …   Carol Rumens