What is it that makes our little Annual Fall Finale 50-ish Mile Country Path Ramble what it is?
There are many ingredients. The Ramble includes a fire pit in the gathering spot to warm your hands on a chilly morning. It includes warm Texas breakfast tacos and homemade scones. There’s a good dose of wandering around to see how many ways folks can set-up a bicycle to ride all day on gravel roads. There are warm handshakes as folks catch up with friends they see often and others they haven’t seen since last year. And that’s before we even start rolling.
The Ramble includes route options from 35 to 50+ miles. Most ride the standard 50-ish mile loop that includes stops in tiny old Texas villages of Rosston and Greenwood, but some take short cuts or add a few miles to make the day just right for them. All routes are mostly gravel in all its possible variety. There are washed-out and rutty areas, stretches that are smooth and fast, and spots that have been “maintained” recently that are full of large, chunky, uncompacted, and unstable rocks to give that dancing on marbles feeling. This year we even had a patch of deeper-than-normal sand.
The Ramble includes wide open, treeless areas and roads winding through tree-tunnels along dry, or barely wet creek beds. There are old historic cemeteries and wonderful patches of ground…just right for a coffee brew-up. We have all day to cover only 50 miles, so we can pause for a luxurious moment of snacks and conversation.
But what is that key ingredient? To use a medicine analogy (after all this seems like good medicine to me), what is the “active ingredient”? As I understand it, the “active ingredient” is the ingredient in a pharmaceutical drug that is biologically active. It’s the thing that does the job. Excipients, on the other hand, are those natural or synthetic substances formulated along side the active ingredient to help make it a little easier to use. Gravel roads, fire pits, and old villages and cemeteries are not active ingredients; excipients maybe?
The active ingredient for the Annual Fall Finale 50-ish Mile Country Path Ramble is the magic that only my friends bring when they arrive at my house each year.
Thank you, friends! What an honor and blessing to have you visit!