Well, you can’t win them all. I lobbied like a Congressman for a “B” Group on Tuesday nights. I’m trying, of course, to look out for those on or below the bubble. Those who show up every Tuesday night, just to get dropped in the first eight miles to be relegated to riding all the way back alone.
I’m also looking out for me at the same time.
I have no desire to be as fast as a Cat 2 or 3 racer and our Club ride has quickly devolved into a race rather than a club ride. At the heart of this mess, I can hang on as long as I want – if I don’t take any turns up front. In other words, if I treat it like a race and stay back, I have no problem holding on as long as I want.
The other side of that is my hatred of knowing that I’m not doing my fair share of the work. I hate feeling like a leech. I always end up going to the front to take three or more turns but I end up burning myself out and falling off the back. There’s usually only one or two “B” riders out of a dozen who can last longer than I do if we’re all taking our turns. Thus, the BS of hiding. Hiding is, for the most part, bullshit. There are indeed those who have earned the right to do so but I don’t consider myself one of them and therein lies the rub…..
Yesterday evening, a couple of the powers that be decided most of the B riders would choose to ride with the A’s even if it meant getting dropped so they decided we should just call a few intersections “neutral zones” so the group doesn’t get split up.
This led me to the conclusion that I’d simply treat the club ride as a race like everyone else does – I decided to hide in the back. With the lack of wind, we were hammering out a 24-25 mph average and I had no problem keeping up (though we did stay under the serious speed (29+ mph). Then one of the women who was counting on there being a “B” ride announced that she was out of gas about 10 miles in. It was my fault she showed up and I had plenty left in the tank so I fell off the back to pull her around the course. Shortly after I went, several of my friends dropped as well so I caught her up to that group and we formed a decent eight-person B ride.
We ended up rolling in with a 21.5 mph average, my conscience was clear and all of us B folks got to do our fair share anyway. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this is so difficult but in the end, I roll with my friends so I just have to do what I can and let the rest work out in the wash.
Next week I’ll be taking a few turns up front though… Hiding the whole time was too easy. Never a dull moment. I think the trick will come down to being artful about hiding. Fade to the back at intersections but work myself up to the front from time to time until a few miles before the hills when I can sit at the back until we get through the hills. This has worked for me in the past, I just hated hiding even that much. So be it.