Monday was a rough day at work. I’m busy. Really busy. So for once, after a fantastic weekend on the bike, I was actually looking forward to a day off. I needed one.
So I pull into the driveway after getting a new hitch installed on my truck (it only took ten minutes and I’d budgeted two hours) and there’s Mrs. Bgddy straddling her bike and she says, “Quick, I haven’t gone out yet, get changed and go with me”… So much for a day off. Fortunately we took it easy on me, with the exception of the few miles of the 25 mph headwind. There is no such thing as taking easy into that.
I watched my cadence and kept if above 90 while using easy gears – I even used the small ring into the wind. Even so I was a little spent when we got back.
And that led into the club ride yesterday evening… The wind had even calmed down to a more reasonable 20 mph with gusts up to 30 (chuckle). It was brutal. The group was all over the place and throw in a yahoo on a Time Trial bike (who knew better) and I was off the back after ten miles or so. And a good few came with me (or shortly thereafter). My buddy Mike, Justin (a horse working on his pro mountain biking card), Diane (a former Olympic cyclist) and Chuck. The four of us hammered out some great miles and because we were such a small group we actually got a little rest at the back and we worked really well together.
For the last seven or eight miles we were going to have a tailwind… Two miles before, who popped up a mile up the road but that guy on his TT bike. He’d been spit off the back too. The four of us were gaining on him, and fast so we had a conversation… Two of us decided that rather than allow him to join on, we were going to bide our time, then start hammering just before we overtook him so he wouldn’t be able to join on. We picked an order, me first for the initial surge, then Mike so we could sustain the push… It didn’t work “perfectly”. When I signaled that we were going, the last two weren’t quite ready so we split up for a short minute and TT man had just enough in the take to catch on… so we broke him on a hill.
The last six miles were awesome and very fast. Chuck fell off and it was just Diane, Mike and me.
This little story goes back to my post the other day about whether or not one should bring to light another cyclist’s detrimental behavior. In the case of TT Man, he almost took Mike out yesterday while we were still in the big group. Later, before we dropped him the second time, he almost took Diane out (he did apologize immediately after it happened) when it was just five of us. In other words, TT Man is a danger to the group whenever he rides that stupid (and incredibly expensive) time trial bike. Rather than have a discussion about the finer points of cycling safely in a group while humming down the road at 24 mph, Mike and I chose to drop him without comment. While people can disagree as to whether or not this was “mean”, what they can’t argue against is that Diane, Mike and I were safer with him off the back. This goes to the heart of why cyclists can be such jerks… If you’re running in a group and you mistakenly cut someone off, the worst you’re looking at a scraped knee or two and maybe a sprained ankle. A mistake on a bike at 25 mph can be fatal. While being a jerk should never be acceptable, when you’ve got a boneheaded cyclist who shows he (or she) is either to incompetent, or worse too inconsiderate to cycle safely with the group, self-preservation must rule the day. Best to leave the offender in the dust lest you end up kissing the pavement for the sake of being “nice”.