Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's about time!

All I can say is, "Damn, it's been good to have two solid evenings on the bike without wet roads and/or rain! "

Pardon that strong language, but it seemed necessary to adequately convey my enthusiasm. I feel such exclamations have a unique, very functional place in our language. It is not a cheap attempt to grab your attention through the use of gratuitous foul language. I'll save the gratuitous foul language for a more ambitious post.

I rode about 44 miles on Wednesday night, just cruising around the River Trail and visiting, as it seemed like everybody in town was out. It was warm and humid after many days of frequent rain and cool temperatures.
On Thursday, I met some galpals for the Fast Girl ride and, though I'd always like to ride better, I had a blast. The group was smaller than usual, about twenty riders, and by my standards, pretty fast. It just seemed like everybody was loose and there were a lot of those sly little smiles that show up when you're having so much fun that you must be getting away with something.
Everybody has their strengths, whether it be climbing, pounding it out on the flats, or dropping like a rock on a technical descent, and it's fun to watch your friends jockey for position and make their moves. We mostly know each other's ability fairly well, so you tend to mark your peers for friendly rivalry. It's not a race, but I think almost everybody on a group ride is keeping a little score sheet of their small victories and weighing strategies to avoid the defeats on the next ride. There's always somebody stronger, so everybody's got plenty of room for ambition! I usually come home with visions of weight loss and painful intervals dancing in my head. Of course, then I sleep on it, come to my senses, and decide that a recovery ride is in order.

Fun stuff, and it felt like the summer cycling season had finally arrived. Crank it up!


Ironman said...

Man, I hate that I missed a good FGSG ride tonight. It is just damn near impossible to get in a recovery ride during an FGSG ride. My only option is to miss the ride before big events. I look forward to Tuesday.

Shi said...

Just remember, the trail is for all bikers. The FGSG tend to take over the trail when they are on it, making it hazardous to other groups. The small group-5- that i was in last night almost collide with someone in the FGSG group at the bottom of Ft. Roots. Have fun but be aware that other people want to have fun also.

JBar said...

Good point, Shi. I heard what I'm sure was a justified scolding, but I didn't see the near-miss. Groups tend focus on the group and may not pay enough heed to their surroundings, in this case, your group crossing at the bottom of the hill with the right-of-way.That's not just for groups like the Fast Girls, but we all need to be aware of others, be it cars, walkers, etc. Some of my closest calls have been with single, inattentive riders.

That said, while I know that Fast Girls can be intimidating coming en masse down the trail, a very real effort is made to operate safely in the trail environment and the safety record is very good. After some negative feedback from the community a couple of years ago, speeds were reduced on the trail and there is a lot of peer pressure to obey the rules of the road.

I've just been an occasional "Fast Girl" in the last couple of years, but I've got to give the group credit for cleaning up their/our manners on the trail and the road.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the feedback. I will pass it on the the FG board.

I know now that I have at least two readers. The advertising dollars will follow soon, I'm sure!

kacey said...

I have also had some close calls with the FGSG group. I understand the thrill for speed in a large group but this has become very dangerous with lots of casual riders on this great trail that we have. I am glad to hear that they have "cleaned up" their act but they are far from where they need to be. Something bad is going to happen then it will be too late.

JBar said...

I'm not going to pursue this further, as the FG board would be a more appropriate venue, but my observation has been that the FG's have become very disciplined about controlling the speed and moving single file or two abreast and being very attentive on the trail. The speed ramps up when the group hits the road. Thanks for the comment, but please don't consider me to represent the FG's. I'm just stating my observations as a near-daily trail user. Though I make some of the FG rides, I'm much more likely just to be like you, out sharing the trail when they come by. There's room for all of us.
Take care and thank you for your comment.