I tried to ride on two Richmond Area Bicycle Association rides today. BORING log to follow :):
First one: “B+” level, which is 16-18, you might get dropped. At noon, so I emailed the leader to ask “retirees or strapping college students?” and was told “older group that likes to work hard” and that they usually waited at stop signs (which is to say, the group might not stay totally together, but they’d keep track.)
I arrived. Leader had the floor pump I said I didn’t, which I used and promptly stuffed in *my* (rental) car out of habit… fortunatley somebody asked. Five guys, all *very* chiseled, two litespeeds and the other bikes fast road bikes. (Good scenery :)) Me in my toe clips on a hybrid, albeit an aluminum one wiht fast wheels and tyres.
NOBODY SAID A SINGLE THING 🙂 🙂 that registered fear that I would not be able to keep up. Asked if I used gloves and I was lent some. (Granted, I worked *hard* to pump up the tires and slather sunscreen confidently, and I’d said in email I was shooting for 3000 miles for the year, and that I could do the posted pace and generally finished at the same speed I started.)
Front rider took off, I right behind him since if you might not go fast enough, you don’t start behind, eh? Turns out he was faster than the rest of ’em… so I dropped back 😉 I have not done a paceline ride yet with anybody, so I wasn’t really in tune… but I did my share of pulling (especially when it got windy).
12 miles out I thought, “40 mile ride… *maybe* a food stop… but I’m thirsty and this gatorade bottle is NOT a sippy cup kind, and if I’m the leader I want to know…” so I call out “Slowing to drink.”
The next stop sign happened to be quarter mile up and true to form, they stopped… and rested and said reassuring things about how soon the store stop would be. I realized as we started up again that I had my usual red face that only means I’m working and it’s warm, but is totally sustainable. I’m pretty sure I was blathering a bit but I think I communicated that I was doing fine and really enjoying the ride in between blathers.
We cruised back… one of the guys missed a turn but then managed to catch us… we rested at another stop sign when he did. One of the guys announced the future turns several turns ahead through most of the ride, which is simply considerate even though it didn’t turn out to be necessary.
Nobody said “you should go on the THursday ride where there’s a B level,” or “you cannot catch up to a group if you are riding alone” as if you didn’t know what drafting was… I don’t mind that stuff at all because it is done to be *helpful* and those nice guys at the evening ride I tried to go on later don’t know that I don’t need to hear it, ’cause… well, ’cause the fast guy at the evening ride gave me cursory, bad directions (“go right until you catch up … you will be able to keep up with them” – and right was Rt. 301, thank you, which I *knew* they wouldn’t stay on, but he couldn’t be bothered to name the roads where to turn) .
It is very pleasant when people wait ’til they’ve seen you ride and yes, it’s a great boost to the ego when, once they’ve seen you ride, they skip that stuff 🙂
Tomorrow if its’ not raining I’ll ride with the “retirees” ride that *is* a B/C ride. Ride leader remembers me … and it’ll be fun.