So, yesterday I did my first Wednesday Night Ride with the Westerville Bicycle Club. Basically, they meet every Wednesday at 6:30 and do either a 25, 30, or 40 mile route at different paces. Let’s just say, for my first time on this ride, I did not have the best of times….
I rode my bike there, it’s only about 7 miles away from work, nice and easy was the plan, but a nasty head wind was going on, so things took a little more time and effort than I hoped, not too mention, following google maps for cycling, not always the easiest. On the way there, I realized I had forgotten to fill my water bottles because I left them on the bike and in the car when we drove into work, so when I left, directly from the car to the ride, my brain saw water bottles on the bike and didn’t make the jump they were empty. Ugh. So now I had a less than easy-peasy, surprisingly hot & humid, and thirsty ride to the ride. No problem, right? The ride’s at Hoover Dam, the Columbus, OH one, not the cool one, as demonstrated quite aptly by this photo I found on the googles…
and there are playgounds and park grounds and what not grounts, so I’ll just grab a water fountain and fill up, right? No go. No water fountains… really. Weird, eh? Did find a pump that went into the ground, and granted I was now really thirsty, I wasn’t about to risk drinking dirty ground water and getting some nasty stomach cramps or worse (ew… poopy)!
Met up with the group who told me there was a gas station about a half-mile away, desperate, I went and bought some water, filled up, and headed back. No time to stretch as everyone was now ready to head out. Oh well, at least I had plenty warm-up time. HA! The A-riders go first, they said a minimum of 19mph, and I thought, perfect! 19mph in a group, no problem, do it all the time!!! Well, the “group” would only be about 7 people, a couple fast older guys and about 4 younger guys, early 20’s maybe, on bikes that cost as much as Baby’s car. Still, no problem, I’m a strong man, fast cyclist, shouldn’t be an issue, and we get moving.
The younglings take the front, I squat in the middle to observe and participate, the older fellas stay in the back of our small group and once we are out of the Hoover dam area, we get really going. Apparently, the youngins either skipped grammar or geometry classes (or both) growing up because I don’t think they realized that “paceline” is 1) a compound word where the 2nd word is “line” or 2) they just don’t know what a line is. I drew a diagram to help demonstrate:
a. Is a line and the shape of a proper single paceline.
b. Is last night’s “paceline”, note it evens out right about where I was? I’m not bragging, I’m just saying……
But, it would turn out the “paceline” would be the least of my problems. Personally & normally, I don’t really care about someone else’s pedaling technique, whatever works to get you from here to there, but last night, let’s just say I’m glad I was paying attention. I was behind the youngins, like I said, trying to keep up, but here, let me give you an idea who the kinda of action I was following: Within a 30 second period they would individually & sporatically, hammer at a cadence of where their feet would become invisible to the human eye for about 4 seconds, then coast for about 4 or 5 seconds, then hammer, then coast, then hammer, then coast, like an epileptic caterpillar!
So, I’m trying to be a good group rider & pull the guys behind me who are steady freddies and probably great to ride with (AND probably enjoying the hell out of watching me try to deal with the young guys), trying to stay with the younger guys but I keep having to hammer, then brake to avoid hitting them, hammer again, then brake, hammer, brake. Wore me out!!! Physically AND mentally! Then suddenly one of them would drop back by me and behind, then hammer back up. What the fuck? Is this supposed to be team work? Maybe I got this whole social Wednesday Night Ride thing completely wrong??
So, as we started approaching the street where the 25 mile route would turn right (and I heard the young guys saying they were doing the 40 mile route, but I still had to ride 20 miles home after this), I dropped out, watched them sail off in their imitation of a deformed Chinese parade dragon, took a right, and was on my own. Decided some music was in order, put on my headphones back on and started cranking along the next 15 miles of the mapped out route.
Had a bit of tailwind for a few miles (which was nice) as I headed east, but then when it was time to start heading south then west again for the last 10 miles of the route, it was all side & head wind, respectively… Nothing you can do, but tuck in and pedal. After some questionable navigation on my part (I’m not the best with maps), I was back to at the start and because I left with the first riders and took the shorter route, I was the first one there. Found my name on the clipboard, checkmarked that I made it back alive, and started my ride home….
Wasn’t 100% on the direction I needed to go (remember, navigation, me, not the best of friends), so I just headed along a street name I knew in the general southwest direction (I knew it was southwest because the sun sets in the west, right?) figuring I’d get there eventually. Following the one road got a little hairy at times (heavy traffic, bad roads, rough neighborhoods, thinking I was lost, etc), but I knew where I started (Westerville, northeast of home) and I knew where I needed go (near downtown, southwest of Westerville), so as long as I was heading in that general direction, I’d eventually see some familiar stuff. Just had to stay tucked in for the wind, keep my mind on the road, and keep on pedaling…..
One problem, I ran out of water. I mistakenly didn’t stop at the last gas station to fill up, assuming I’d see more along the way. Ugh. And dinner time had passed and hunger was kicking in (oh nooo Tsuru, you don’t need to take that half-powerbar thing you have in your backpack, you’ll be fine), so with a rumblin’ in my belly, some major thirst going on in my mouth (and a decent sunburn setting in on my knees because I ALSO forgot sunscreen, yeah, I’m a winner on this ride), I continued on.
Finally (finally) off in the distance I saw a wonderful sight… Downtown! Where there’s downtown, home is not too far away! I kicked it up a notch, damned the headwind, and pushed, I was really ready for the ride to be over and soon, it was.
Ended up doing 55 miles yester-evening. No, that’s not ridiculous mileage, but it was a hard fought 55 and I earned the delicious smoothie I made when I got home (and the chili I had later that evening). Took some Aleve and slept like a wee baby.
Today is rest day, relax day, and maybe that’s why Ohbijou’s latest Beacons felt so good and so right.
How about THAT transition, eh? WOOT!
This is just lovely. Beautiful, lush, female-led, Canadian indie-pop. Did you hear that, Oliver, they’re Canucks! Man, you’ve GOT to be shakin’ in yer boots by now!!! Apparently, they are a 7-piece band, featuring pianos, strings, and even a banjo. They use each element perfectly, balancing the line between pop and orchestral. It’s all tied together eloquently with Casey Mecija’s delicate and sweet voice, who, by the way, along with the band, are a bunch o’ Canuckian cuties!
Anyway, a perfect soundtrack for my wearied legs. Thanks Ohbijou….
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