Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Be prepared for your next group ride

I've had this message sitting in the mailbag from Frilly for some time now and have been wondering what to do with it. I think today I've decided to do a quiz, BikeSnobNYC style. From the lack of comments on my last few posts I figured they were lame and had to get back to basics.

Study the email from Frilly carefully, once you are done there will be a small quiz. Answer correctly and you will be rewarded with this AMAZING picture (hint: zoom in, it's worth it). Answer incorrectly and you'll be sent to a link which helps you figure out why you are wrong. That out of the way, let's get on with it.

Frilly said:
Yes completely drenched is spot on. Well, I sucked tonight big time. When I got there I saw a guy who looked like the group leader, however that was not the case. I was chatting with him anyway about how fast they go and any serious hills. He said they do around 15 to 16 mph and yes there are a couple of sorta big hills. Okay, not tragic. A fairly good clip by my standards and I guess I can deal with two or three big hills.

I never got to find out cuz he lied. 15 to 16 my ass. Those fuckers never got below 19 or 20 the whole six miles I managed to hang on. Shit. I got behind almost immediately and some guy was nice enough to pace me back to the group and I got dropped again. Well, the dude was a little in front of me and his buddy was passing me, so I told his friend to tell him I was done, I couldn't keep up, and I was heading to Grant's Trail. He said okay and bye. Fine.

So I rode over to the trail and did the thing end to end telling myself I was not going to let my speed dip below 15 ever. Well it did a couple of times cuz there was a bit of a headwind, but only to around 13.8 to 14.

Anyhoo, I ride back to the shop where my car is and there are still a few people in the parking lot drinking beer. Damn. The ride of shame. Well, one of the people who I think might have actually been the group leader asked me if I rode in by myself. I told him no that I had been dropped a long time ago and just went to ride the trail. He said that he hoped I wasn't discouraged and I should come back next week. Apparently quite a few people didn't show up cuz of the heat. Those people being the slower people. The guy said that they usually splinter into two groups--fast and slower. Figures I picked this week to go. So, I told him I had planned on it anyway and I was going to hang on as long as I could and continue to come back until I could ride with the group the whole way. He just kind of chuckled and left.

Well, I'm putting my bike away and lo and behold the dude who was trying to pace me comes walking up. He asked me if I was okay and I told him what I had done. He said that he was sorry I didn't stay cuz he had stopped to wait for me! He said his friend told him I had gone back to my car. The pace setting guy, Rob, said for a split second he almost rode back to get me. I told him that I was glad he was still there cuz I wanted to thank him for being so nice in pacing me. He told me to come back next week and he would stay with me the whole way and we would finish. Oh, and he also had a cooler with him and gave me a seriously cold Bud Light. I think I might just be in love.

What was Frilly's first mistake?
a) Joining a group ride in the first place
b) Believing the pace would be 15 to 16 mph and there would be a fast and slow group
c) Not using a 4:1 sports drink for optimum performance
d) Using aero bars in a group ride

Among other things, what does the group rider leader also probably have as a claim to fame?
a) Winning the local MS150
b) Winning a local citizen's race and teaching the young guys a lesson, averaging 20.7 mph over 205 miles
c) Winning an entire racing series, in the bottom category.
d) Mentioning it is "nothing" to go 30mph on a bike these days with the new technology.
e) Possibly all of the above.

True or False, a person can win the MS150, a charity race.
a) True
b) False

A sandbagger is:
a) someone who races in the same category year after year so that they can win or place highly regardless of great past success and encouragement to upgrade.
b) someone who underplays their ability, or races in a lower category, in order to gain an advantage.
c) considered by most to be scum of the earth.
d) All of the above.

What is the favorite saying for riders after demoralizing a newbie?
a) Glad you found your way back, we took you on some crazy strange roads trying to force you to do extra mileage once lost and shattered
b) Keep showing up and getting dropped and eventually you'll get faster and keep up, or you'll lose heart and quit
c) Sorry that the slow group didn't show up this week, show up next week, I'm sure they will
d) Watch my video and better luck next time
e) Both b and c


Katherine Stump said...

Wow. I could have totally written that letter about my first group ride last weekend. I'm going again tonight, where I was promised a medium speed group forms so I don't have to stay with the 19-20 mph riders. I only half believe 'em, so I'm brining a weapon - a friend who will stay with me and pace me if need be. Otherwise he doesn't get a ride home.

What do you mean, my "Rock and Roll lifestyle"?

- Mellow V

BikeLemming said...

The Cake song my dear... these pro riders and their jersey colored bikes, glasses, and suits, how can they afford their Rock and Roll lifestyle? Sometimes it sounds better in my head.

Doohickie said...

Cake rocks.

Anyway, I'm glad i have a group to ride with that has a true no-drop policy, has three different groups (swifties, pacers & cruisers at 20, 15 & 10 mph), and a very encouraging group even at the swifty level.

I haven't ridden with the swifties yet, but they keep asking me to, and I've done a not-quite-swifty pace with some of the pacers along the longer swifty route.

I'm sure they'd have some fun with me, but the swifties keep encouraging me, telling me I can keep up with my 25 year old bike and toe clips. (After I attempt to ride with them the first time, I might change my opinion).

Richard said...

What was Frilly's first mistake?
Riding without a team car.

Among other things, what does the group rider leader also probably have as a claim to fame?
Riding the MS150 on a TT bike complete with disc wheels and aero helmet.

True or False, a person can win the MS150, a charity race.
Only if they pass doping controls afterward.

A sandbagger is:
A pimple on the ass cheek of sport.

What is the favorite saying for riders after demoralizing a newbie?
You really should push the 53x11 more on the climbs.

Anonymous said...

Richard, funny you should mention that. I'm doing my first century on Saturday and, yep, I've arranged to have a team car.

Cyclin' Missy said...

I'm missing something in the picture that's supposed to be awesome. What's the thing?

BikeLemming said...

Richard, where were you when I was writing this? Great additions!

Cyclin' Missy, the awesomeness of the pic is the guy with the intense look on his face, smoking a cigarette, while watching a bike race.

Doohickie, it's awesome that you've found a real group ride, they're hard to come by.

Stevil said...

I lost.
I mean failed.

Doohickie said...

It's the only bike club I've ever belonged to; just joined last fall. I thought that was pretty much normal until I read stuff more in line with Frilly's experience on bike forums.