Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Group Ride

Last night's group ride was sweet. CyLowe got a case of the weirds from it though. I was feeling quite good and was able to pretty easily hold on to the pack for 95% of the ride. I gave up my usual ground on some of the hills, but I did actually finish the first one 2nd wheel - big accomplishment for a short fat guy.

There were a lot of new faces on the ride last night. Some were old regulars that many knew. The quick road nazi assessment was indicating that the fred level was rising slightly.

OK - my take on Freds...unlike many other elitist road weenies I tend to actually like Freds. This is mainly because I honestly feel a kinship of sorts with anyone who throws their leg over a bicycle (this obviously removes recumbent riders - which I will now refer to as recumbulators as picked up in the Two Johns Podcast - from my feeling of kinship.) I generally like them.

The ones I don't like are the activist, self appointed safety monitor, retro-grouches that feel the need to spend the whole ride barking at people or trying to convince us that a 5 speed freewheel with friction bar ends is "where it's at". That ship sailed in 1986.

While I am on the topic I feel the need to lob a grenade at a local team. They are on the opposite end of the spectrum but just as annoying. I hate it because they are the closest team to my house and doing their rides would work into my schedule and I do know at least one of their riders, but they are just too freeking uptight. They gives enthuiasts and racers a bad name. They totally eliminate the joy out of riding and make it a task instead of an adventure. Total road nerds.

These are the kind of guys that will bark at everyone, insist that no new riders join up until they have passed some sort of 20 point inspection of riding skills and abilities complete with clinic, ride rigid pacelines with over the top protocols on their normal group rides, and eat their young. They look like a wannabe pro team when heading out on local century rides for Pete's sake. Our buddy on the team skipped one of the best rides we put together all year just because the century ride....CENTURY RIDE that all of us were doign the next day he was going to be doing with this team and had to be able to perform at his best.

Despite all of this they basically suck in every race I have ever seen any of them do. Maybe it's just something about them that ticks me off and I am being too harsh on them, but I don't think I am alone. If you check their site it seems like no one is really active on it anymore and I really haven't seen them at any local races this year. I have to think their membership has to be suffering because they simply found a way of sucking the joy out of one of the most joyous things one can do....ride a bike.

I won't mention the name, but let's just say they all supposedly have a phd.

So where was I......oh yeah the group ride. Fred Factor. The nice thing is that we rolled out uber slow. It was a nice change for me and I think it allowed me to actually warm up before hitting it hard. We did lose patience by the time we turned North. I took a flyer off the front. by the time I turned around we had basically halved the group.

So we get to a road closure. We all kind of knew it was there, but didn't make the necessary arrangements to change the route before actually hitting the closure. So there we are...staring at the construction equipment. Some want to go back up the big hill we just came down. Others want to cross the construction site and keep riding.

hating hills I quickly joined the "let's cross this thing" club. So we did....and ended up doing a little cyclocross. OK...more than a little. Jumping from one submerged rock to the next in a flowing creek with road shoes on is a little dicey to say the least....but it got me out of another climb.

The rest of the ride was fun. Fast and furious. I had brought along another new rider from Bike Forums that I had met during a race in Bensenville last week. Turns out he had a cleat problem right after the cyclocross adventure. By the time I realized he was not in the group it must have been 5 miles or more later. When I asked around no one had seen him since the crossing. I felt like an a-hole for not noticing sooner, providing a route map, and for not going back to find him, but he had said enough on the way up to imply that he was pretty familiar with the area.

Turns out he had an adventure finding the way back to the car, but by the time we rolled in he was there. I promise I'll get him a map by next least of the normal route....sans closure.

So...commute on Monday. Group ride on Tuesday. Commute this morning. Hopefully a commute tomorrow. Even a possibility of a 1/2 commute on Friday. If all of that comes off without a hitch then I will be enjoying the long weekend at the wedding that my wife and I have planned.


Eric Cox said...

Hmmm. A group of Ph.D.s killing fun & being pedantic know-it-alls. Hey, I resemble that remark.

aham23 said...

so, Freds = good. Spin Doctors = losers. got it. does this mean i am ready for the tuesday night ride?!@?

you better ramp up the mileage. you are STILL behind in the july mileage whore contest.


CyLowe said...

"Jimmy Olsen's Blues" came up on my MP3 player on the way home from the ride last night.

Yeah, Lois Lane, you don't need no Superman...

Psimet said...

Eric....these are "doctors" in name only. ;)

aham...500 and counting. 100 more planned before Friday noon...


aham23 said...

dude, its called saturday and sunday. maybe you have heard of them. or maybe you are just too busy being a mileage whore. i just dont really know? later.