Anyone who has ridden in a fast club ride knows what a wheel sucker is – you’ve either seen one or you are one. Some can pull it off while others, well let’s just say not so much. That said…
I’m going to make this into a tee shirt:
Respect the Engine™
You Only Get Faster at the Front.
This is one of those funny sayings that has some truth to it, but mainly sounds badass so it’ll be cool. Still…
A friend of mine showed up to his first club ride of the season on Tuesday. He’s an insufferable drunk but he’s also funny as a guy can get and he’s a freaking horse. And he weighs about a buck-forty dripping wet. Really though, he’s just a fun guy to have on a ride. I’d never hang out with him on a Saturday night but Sunday morning, when we’re on the line, you bet.
He derides me every Tuesday for taking too many turns at the front, too early in the ride. He’s got a point, to an extent, because he’s always just a few seconds back of the lead group while I get dropped in the hills, about 20 miles in. My problem, and it is my problem, is that I
want have to do my part. To put it simply, I’d rather go down in a ball of flames 20 miles in and limp home after a shortcut than hide to make it to the end.
On one hand, I will hide when the ride is fast and long, but I always feel like a jerk when I do. On the other, I have much more fun when I do my part for the group and I get more out of it when I’m working hard up front.
I ride a bike to stay fit and get faster; and I’ll never get faster hanging in the draft at the back. I may be able to hang on until the last few miles but disregarding the rudeness, I simply have more fun when I’m pulling my own weight – You only get faster at the front anyway.
*Respect the Engine is a Trademark of Feed the Engine Apparel (along with its logo). You can’t use it.