Monday, August 23, 2010

One thousand miles and counting

When I started this blog, I intended not to do the boring kind of I-went-for-a-ride-and-it-was-fun kind of post. If you're reading this blog, you probably know it was fun because you ride. Anyhow, I did pass the thousand mile mark for this summer this past Saturday. A milestone worth noting, if only to reveal how little else I've done this summer that would impress anyone but bike bums. Which brings me to my point (indulge me in the fantasy that I actually have one): riding is something one does mainly for oneself--or is it?

I recently went on a group ride with a bunch of people I didn't know. I started out with the 32-mile route group, toward the back, where people were poking along at 8.5 miles an hour (11.0 downhill). So I moved up to the 12-mile-an-hour sub-group. Way out in front were three guys blazing along at 13.5 m.p.h. Interestingly, one of these was outfitted like Lance, from his Radio Shack jersey down to the Trek Madone. I figured these have to be the guys to keep up with, right? But no, they still piddled along.

So I followed a while, and then so as not to be a wheelsucker I took my turn in front of the Lance look-alike trio. To be brief, within a couple of miles I got tired of using lower gears just to not leave them behind, and I went ahead. I know, the group ride is not a race; it's as much a social occasion for many people, it seems. But hell, I came to ride, not to hold a bull session.

Unless, of course, any of your fellow riders looks like either of the ones above. Then, even a curmudgeon such as me might be tempted to socialize.