Thursday, August 11, 2005

Commute report

Miles when I got to work: 2247.6

Recap, club ride: Very nice people. We went in the slow group because we didn't know what to expect. We saw some slick looking riders and bikes and since the slow group was advertised as 15 - 17 average on hilly roads, we thought we'd be safe, not sorry.

As the number of riders grew in the parking lot, I said hi to a few acquaintances, and was pleasantly surprised that such a wide variety of folks showed up. Although some people were clearly racers and some clearly citizens, most bikes were pretty nice and nearly everyone was in a jersey and bike shorts.

The tradition behind this ride was also very comforting. Apparently this ride is older than I am, and in a way it's like the grownup version of Critical Mass. These folks go on the road like they should, but they're ultra observant, like going single-file if there's a car back.

We rode out from the parking lot and onto city streets until we hit a short bike trail that took us out to less populated roads. It was a swell loop, though I could have used some more hills.

The slow group had a no-drop policy, which made cycling tough, as the ride leader kept stopping at turns, waiting for folks to catch up. This is a good policy because many of the folks didn't know where they were going, but it's also hard to get the heart rate up if you're constantly stopping and waiting...and waiting for that last straggler.

The speed was definitely lower than advertised. I know this the beginner group, but I expected some more skills. For example, minor hills - to me - are for spinning, not coasting, and I always approach the base of a hill with some momentum. These guys were going so painfully slow that heading uphill was a bigger chore than it needed to be.

Regardless, it was nice to be with such a social bunch. I spent a good bit of time in the beginning talking with a chemical engineer. Then, when I couldn't take it anymore - the pace, not the conversation, I rode in the front (so far in front that I think the rest of the group was a road or two behind us because we couldn't see them) with a British guy who was pretty interesting as well.

I did want to talk with the couple on the tandem but didn't get a chance. The wife seems to have prosthetic legs below the knee, either that or really odd socks. That's cool that she was riding.

The organization was great. Each group (there were either 4 or 5, from the slow folks to the studly) had a leader, and a main ride leader laid down the law to the entire group before the ride began.

Next week we'll try the next group up. They take a hillier route - ours was amazingly unhilly - and ride a few more miles. If we get dropped, so be it. More than anything, I hope to keep up instead of staying out front.

I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the group. Apparently, 150 people showed up for last week's ride. This week I'd say there were 50. Even so, that's a nice group.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home