Friday, March 23, 2012

Tuesday Smackdown Ride

Last spring as a means of getting through the supersized winter that we had, I put together a Tuesday evening road ride starting in the middle of March of last year. This ride was actually what prompted a very explicit ride disclaimer to be drawn up, not because of infractions but as a preemptive attack and to set the ground rules. The premise of the ride was for training and as such, it was to be a no holds barred, left for dead, hammerfest. The idea was that we would all just take turns beating each other into submission. These are the kind of antics that really poor racers like myself employ in races, which typically ensures a mediocre placing. It always seems like a good idea at the time though.

I had little trouble finding a group of really solid riders and racers that had no qualms about riding really hard for a couple of hours at night, in some really miserable conditions. If you remember last winter, it was harsh and lingered. We still had a ton of snow in March and real winter conditions were still in full effect. I recall the ride last year that we started in a light mist on wet roads in 40 degree temperatures. Part way through the ride we lost daylight and spent the rest of the ride in the dark. It was misery but we all did it and provided the much needed inspiration and motivation for the others.

This year the weather has been really good so no tales of horror to be had. In fact, though it seems we haven't actually had as many of the rides, the truth is that we actually started earlier in the season this year. Because everyone has been spending so much time riding the group is all in really good condition already. This makes for less disparity and some harder overall riding. Just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately, a mishap shortly into the ride with a sewer grate that had been turned so the slots ran parallel to the road ended Ben's ride. He kept it upright and the only victims were his rear wheel and water bottle, both of which exploded. The grate has since been fixed.

I need to tweak the route a little bit to incorporate some cheater lines where, if people get dropped, they can bypass a small section and get back in. Unfortunately the route has a hard section less than 10 miles in that often splits the group. It would be good to be be able to incorporate them back in later on.

It's nice to have a good group to ride with. This general area has no shortage of good trails and roads on which to ride. Moreover, there is no shortage of good folks with whom to ride. We are certainly fortunate.

This week's edition of the Tuesday Smackdown Ride.

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