Well, it’s official.
I am now a member of the OFBC.
The youngest member, I might add. The kid.
In case you’re wondering what OFBC represents, “O” is for “Old.” “F” does not stand for “Fellows.” “BC” is for Bike Club.
After I joined the group of retirees in October for its 20th reunion bicycle tour of the Natchez Trace Parkway, the members initiated me into their exclusive
There are many advantages to membership in the OFBC. There are no meetings. No dues. And because the members are a few years older than I am, I can keep up with them on a bicycle. Well, most of them.
The OFBC has its roots in Marietta, Ga., where several riders became friends during bicycle tours across Georgia, on the Blue Ridge Parkway and other scenic spots.
Since retirement, they have dispersed across the South, but they reunite occasionally to pedal, rag each other and repeat tales that grow taller by the year.
Wayne Williams, who retired to the Shoals, invited me to join the OFBC on its most recent ride.
The Natchez Trace twists and turns about 442 miles from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville. The group planned to abbreviate the mileage by starting at U.S. 64 between Waynesboro and Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and riding south.
I started a few days early by cycling the northern stretch to Nashville. The fall foliage painted the parkway in brilliant hues of orange, yellow and red. I capped the northern leg with a late lunch at the famous Loveless Cafe, where country music stars stop in for country ham and biscuits.
Eating too much became a theme of the OFBC tour by the time we reached Natchez. My Garmin cyclometer says I pedaled 353 miles, climbed 12,361 feet and burned 23,311 calories, The bathroom scales say I gained two pounds.
I hope to return to the trace soon and finish the miles we avoided just south of Tupelo. I believe we skipped that section so we could get to the next meal quicker.
The tour included a little pain from consecutive days in the saddle. It also featured a lot of laughter.
The OFBC members are rough on rookies. Any time I managed to pull ahead of them, they accused me of doping.
I tried to dish it back by complaining that they are part of the 47 percent of freeloaders who feel entitled to my taxes.
But the kid was outmanned.
The old guys are a little farther down the road. They have climbed a few more hills, traveled a few more miles, told a few more tales.
Executive Editor Scott Morris can be reached at 256-740-5721 or scott.morris@TimesDaily.com.