I plan to mix up the content in this space, preferring to bore you with some variety rather than a stream of my ride reports, but this is a story with a lesson.
I rode over and met Chris Irons at the top of River Mountian Road yesterday and then made the mad dash at 30-35 MPH (OK, OK, it's downhill AND we had a tailwind, but homeruns still count when they're wind-assisted, don't they?) out Highway 10 to join the 1:00PM ride from Two Rivers Park. The ride was fun and got fast. From my perspective, it was real fast!!!
mea culpa: Mea culpa is a Latin phrase that translates into English as "my fault"
faux pas :(pronounced /ˌfoʊˈpɑː/, plural: faux pas /ˌfoʊˈpɑː(z)/) is a violation of accepted social rules
This multicultural lesson in language is to warm you up for my admission that I made a faux pas and accept that it was a screw-up.
I was second wheel in a very fast pace line (26-28 MPH) that was furiously chasing down a break. I was barely hanging in there and ready to be out, but didn't want to open a gap. As the mighty JMar pulled off, I wanted to pull through and get off the front as soon as possible, but I slowed down somewhat precipitously to 22-23 MPH. That was the faux pas. The result was that the rider behind me suddenly had a wheel coming back at him and it disrupted the pace line. He rightfully advised me on the error of my ways.
Worst case, I could have caused a hell of a bike wreck. Tactically, it disrupted the chase and broke up the rhythm and structure of the pace line.
I know better than to slow without warning, and this is how crashes occur when riding near your limit in the close quarters of the pace line. A momentary lapse in focus can cause mayhem or at least a missed catch as in this case. This ain't the Tour or even a race, but everybody wants to finish at the front. I don't think I'll be banned, but your friends have got to have confidence when riding around you. I'll do better.
I'm not beating myself up over this but it served as a reminder that there are accepted social rules to be followed in the pack and they are there for purposes of safety and efficiency. I could just as easily pick on somebody else's faux pas, as we see them on almost any group ride, but I'm unlikely to hurt feelings when I pick on me.