Group Ride, Alright
0 comment Saturday, August 9, 2014 |
When I first got into cycling my lovely little bike shop helped me out a lot. They put on an inexpensive front brake when I discovered that it does actually take a little practice to safely ride a fixed gear without brakes (I think it was the scare of trying to control my speed downhill that really did it) and they've dispensed endless useful knowledge and help to yours truly.
They also have a weekly group bike ride on the weekends made up of friendly and staunchly non- douchy competitive people from the area. I've met a lot of cool peeps from those bike rides and for a time I went weekly like clockwork, until a new job required me to work on Saturday and I couldn't go for over a year. Recent unemployment has cured that though, and although it took me almost two months to go on another one (infants take a lot of time out of your life, who knew!) today I got to suit up and join the ranks once again.
Somewhat counter intuitively it would seem that having no job would make it easy to get more riding in, but sadly this was not so. In the last two months I've only ridden twice and my expanding midsection and shrinking legs were definitely in mind when I rode out to join a group of men and women with very nice bikes with lots of gears. I knew I wouldn't get dropped but no one wants to be the slow poke (except in certain situations, right ladies? Right, right?) so I was determined to keep up even if it was pathetically difficult.
As I approached the shop the group was already assembled: about eight men and women covered head to toe in cold weather gear with only faces peaking out from hats and balaclavas. At first no one recognized me until I unmasked to adjust my flowing locks and then the regulars all came over to say hi. It was nice. People bitched about the cold and soon we were off on a thrity-plus mile bike ride through the surrounding neighborhoods. The No Drop rule is particularly useful to me as our routes wind through many neighborhoods and I'd get lost in a heartbeat and have no fun making my way back home alone.
Happily my legs remembered their previous life and performed admirably. My lungs, not so much. Also my sitting bones, despite the use of a technical liner. I'd say my booty's performance degraded the most over my two months of full time fatherin' which was both surprising and a little uncomfortable. With temperatures in the mid-thirties to low-forties I was glad I had multiple layers and a full head covering, and as we got moving I quickly warmed up. We had two "climbs" which in my area of Virgina always means a bridge or an overpass and I took the opportunity to break ranks and climb my little heart out. It was lovely.
With ten miles left to go we stopped at a coffee joint to rest and drink up. In a move that I'm sure sport nutritionists would flinch at I put a double espresso into my empty stomach instead of water or anything really useful. What can I say, I like coffee. The standard complaints were heard again as we had to warm back up and one good climb later I was experiencing a slight metallic taste from my lungs as they worked out all the sediment my sedentary lifestyle has deposited there.
Back at the shop I BSed with an old friend I hadn't seen a while and then headed home to a waiting baby and tired lady. No soreness yet, just a lingering smile and the wish to do it again. I really need to do this more often. I missed it.