Now I’ve gone and done it….

I’ve been meaning to write about some of my struggles with keeping up with other riders. The cycle club I belong to is notorious for “velocity creep,” where rides are posted at a particular pace, but faster riders show up and kind of force the group to go faster and faster…and the ride leader does not correct this behavior, or, worse, is the perpetrator.

Now, I have some *issues* and being in this kind of situation really pushes my buttons. I blame it on being the youngest kid in the family and always having to catch up with the “big kids.” Who knows?  Anyway, a few weeks ago I had a particularly unpleasant experience that I won’t go into here (for fear of looking like a gigantic crybaby) that led me to avoid going on all but the slowest club rides.  And that’s fine–I’ve had some great times with other pleasure riders!–but it’s not enough cycling for me in light of RAGBRAI looking four weeks away.  So then I started riding with one friend, and that has also turned out well.

So well, in fact, that I have learned my way around some country roads, mapped a route, and bravely posted two new rides on our club’s calendar, next Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45 a.m.  “Come ride slowly,” my entry reads.  And, “free coffee afterward,” by virtue of the start/stop point being across from my house.

I’ve known for a long time that the best option for making our cycling club fit ME is to lead my own rides.  It’s not the only way I’ll get a ride I love, but it is pretty much guaranteed to please me.  I hope some others will come along, too.


5 thoughts on “Now I’ve gone and done it….

  1. Sam Morgante

    This is very near and dear to my heart. Mind you, i’m the fast guy, and not just mid-level fast, but “I’m the Lance Armstrong of 8th ave” without the drugs fast. I can do any ride, at any pace. However, we have the same problem, our fearless local group leader will post the average expected speed for a ride, and this year, lot’s of carbon/ti terrors have come out, and pushed that from a 15mph ride, to a 20mph ride. My problem is, I will chase/lead as fast as you want to go, but I also like to mix it up, and if a ride says it’s going to be XXmph average, that is what I’m expecting. Not every ride needs to be a leg of the TDF, If that’s the way they want to be, then there should be an “advanced group” that has no limit, and the others mostly adhere to speeds, thus not leaving others behind for no good reason!

    You go, setup your own ride, and a good pace that works for many. I have thought of this often, because our local “group” started out just meeting up on Friday nights to cruise around, and then do a long ride on the weekend, now I find myself averaging 20+mph on Wednesday night rides, pushing myself so hard that I can’t even remember where we went, or what the weather was like.. not worth it!

    1. Iris Murasaki Post author

      Sam!! I appreciate the fact that you are willing to enjoy rides of different paces, and don’t always feel the need to go-Go-GO!!! Is your club big enough to support rides of different paces/lengths?

      I also have had the experience of showing up for an E ride (~10-12 mph avg) because, even though I can do a D ride (~13-15 mph), I was tired that day and just wanted a more relaxed experience. Well, guess what. The ride leader himself decided to surreptitiously become our “trainer” and led us at a D pace, all the while gleefully thinking he was doing us a favor. I know, I know, I coulda said something. I guess I just got pissed off and kept riding.

      I love slower rides because I get so many opportunities to see wondrous things. A few days ago it was foggy in the morning and there were amazing spider webs highlighted with water droplets along the bridge that leads to the local nature area. I’m sure all the so-called hammerheads were oblivious.

      spider web

  2. Tammi

    I sure wish I lived near you I would be there for your rides. I am glad you are handling the situation and not just sitting back.


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