Anne and I, along with our friends Alan and Maria, have been attending the Peach Pedal since 1994. We all missed last year because Maria was pregnant, and Anne and I were getting Anne's mom, Esther, settled in Texas.
Each year we go we stay at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in Weatherford, TX called St. Botolph's. It's a large (>5000 sq. ft!) victorian home built in the late 1800's near downtown Weatherford. The proprietors, Dan and Shay, have had the B&B open since 1993, and we started staying there in 1994.
Anne and I started driving about 1:30pm on Friday. I took the whole day off and Anne took half a day. It took 1 1/2 hours to drive from Plano to Weatherford, about 30 miles west of Ft. Worth. We arrived at 3pm, got settled in our room, talked for a while with Dan and Shay, then headed out to the pool to relax, float, and read books. It was very warm on Friday, upper 90s. But the pool was very nice and we were in the shade with a cool breeze blowing over us. It was so relaxing. Dan and Shay have a "tea time" between 4pm and 6pm and we planned on heading over to tea time about 5. About 4pm Alan, Maria, and their new baby Samantha came driving up. Perfect timing. They got settled in while we cleaned up and got dressed and we met for tea time on the front porch. Dan and Shay had good peach tea and plain tea, along with very tasty peach ice cream with raspberry sauce and a small piece of pound cake. hm hm, it was good. For dinner we went to a new place in Weatherford, Roma, and had italian. It was very crowded, but the food was good, and very inexpensive. Samantha had a good time, ate like a _pig_, talked a lot (and there were a lot of kids at Roma's and they were talking a lot too), and kept Alan and Maria very busy (their training is coming along nicely). It was a very nice Friday in Weatherford. We usually arrived very late, spent the night, did the bike ride, and drove home. We would miss all the great amenities of St. Botolphs. Not this year!
We woke up Saturday and had a fine breakfast of Puffed Peach Pancakes. Oh my, they wre good. We had our breakfast in the dining room for the first time. We usually have breakfast out on the lawn with a fine view of the Parker county courthouse. There were two other bikers there this time and we had breakfast all six in the dining room. The other couple Stephanie and Max were from Rockwall. They were on our old schedule, arriving really late on Friday and leaving early after the ride. Maria didn't do the ride this year, staying at the Inn to watch Samantha. She took Samantha's three wheel jogger and met us at the pre-registration so that we didn't have to drive there. Maria and Samantha loaded our packets in the jogger and took it all back to the Inn. The starting line was near the middle school, but it was also very near St. Botolphs. Right around the corner, very convenient. It meant we could ride our bikes back to the Inn after the ride was over. Just like usual, the Peach Pedal ran out of medium-sized shirts. This problem is getting bad. Even when we pre-register they'll have given away all the small, medium, and large shirts before we arrive, and all they'll have left is extra large. Does Anne get mad. The ride itself was a little bit of a mixed bag. The route was great, same as it has been for years and years. The support was a little lacking compared to the earlier years. There weren't enough porta-potties, there were dangerous intersections without any police or volunteers to help with the car traffic, and one of the rest stops ran out of water. That is _very_bad_.. Still yet we both enjoyed ourselves a lot.
As I was riding the route I noticed that I had memories that I never knew about, that would only show up when I tripped them. I looked up to see a fork in the road and this triggered a series of memories that must have been lying quietly in my mind waiting to bubble up. I don't think anything would have brought them out, since years have passed since I put them there to start with. The fork in the road was one I had seen before, on each ride of the Peach Pedal going back to 1994. I got this blast of memories, the left fork rising looked harder, our path led right, the whole area looked like a city park, we were heading into a shady spot and it looked cooler, other memories bubbled up. A strange looking house off to the left, 3-story, very modern set off another series. I seem to have built these little memory pockets that needed to be tripped to be felt. It was very cool and helped make the ride even more enjoyable. Wonder what else is hidden in there?
After the ride we biked back to St. Botolphs and got ourselves a shower. Dan and Shay allow us to come back and get a quick shower even though it's a little after the checkout time. Thank goodness, we were a mess. From there we all headed into downtown Weatherford to the town square around the courthouse for the peach festival. It was very, very warm, maybe even 100 degrees by the time we got downtown. Really too hot to enjoy the festival (just like every year). We got something to eat, did a very little shopping, and headed over to the farmers market to get ourselves a half bushel of peaches to share. Then we headed for home.
Things we remember from the trip: