First Social ride of 2012

18 Apr First Social ride of 2012

This is a plea to the many riders training on the open roads with no regard for cars, others riding with them, or themselves. Instead of me commenting on facebook to the example rider, I decided to write this blog post. If you do not like it remember, no one forced you to read it.

I was not very motivated to train last night, temps being in the low 50’s and not being fully recovered from the weekend training rides, I thought it was time to go visit the Tuesday night ride. My intention was to see old team mates and sit in at there pace, more of a social recovery ride. Most of these guys are focused on CX  so the tempo should be perfect. After an hour riding alone and doing some short wake up the body efforts, I met up with Hank and June. Being ex-team mates we talked until spotting the ride coming the other way and flipped. The ride was small only 6 people and none of the old team mates were there. This seemed to be fine, as the three of us rolled onto the back. The pace was mid 20’s on rolling terrain so I was happy with this.

A quick back story about the town we are riding in, Barrington Hills, Illinois. This high income little town is full of specialness attitudes, people that feel they are entitled to more because they make large cash. It was 4 years ago when the village board passed a single file only rule for cyclists, never talking to any resident cyclist tax payers, like myself, before railroading this bullshit ordinance through. This was like pouring gasoline on a small fire, seemingly exploding the feud between the cyclists and drivers in the area. Now the quite 30 mph back roads of Barrington became a place where drivers started yelling single file, get off the road, or just the display of the little bird with the abrupt cut off the cyclist with their car. Since this change in attitude, the Enzo’s riders started stoping for every sign, singling up quickly when hearing cars. The thought, lead by example with a display of respect for the resident drivers living in this town.

Back to the point, while sitting on the back the first stop sign seems non existent to the group, as they roll through at 20 mph, with me slowing, a strong yield. This was the first warning sign I should have left.

Second stop sign, third stop sign, no yield what so ever. I look to see who is at the front, the main culprit happens to be a resident of the town, one of my tax paying neighbors who is not a kid, a 50+ guy. At the bottom of the carousel, a downhill that is 8%, he has a gap going about 35 mph. We are going to make a right turn at the bottom and after the weekend storms, this corner will have some gravel or debris in it, which is normal.  This guy does not yield and almost goes down. He never looked ahead to see the on coming car as he crossed into the other lane. I was second wheel and had slowed quite a bit yelling gravel and careful to the rest of the group. I am guessing the inspiration for this guy is this. After the right turn we are at the base of the longest climb in the training loop and has now established a gap of  20-25 bike lengths. He looks back, upon seeing the gap and he puts his head down, this was the straw that ignited my fire. My gray matter is firing signals like, WTF, why you are risking you own well being and ours? Is this what you think an attack looks like?  Is this the only way you can gain an advantage on the group? Do you not see that you almost made the car go off the road back there? So I stand on the pedals closing the gap quickly, as I catch him I can see his pedal stroke is already laboring, laughter. I look at him and say come on lets go. Yes, I am in full pit bull mode, and stay big ring to the top of the climb. This was complete overkill gaining at least 30 seconds on TCO, ( the clueless one). I roll the rest of the way solo to the next stop sign, and wait for the group.

When we are all back together and as politely as I can, I ask TCO if he realizes the impact he is having on the drivers in the area or the risk to the group by running stop signs. He responds, “there were no cops!”.

It is at this moment I realize my arrogance, thinking a few words will wake TCO. I laugh at myself and we start riding again. Hank, Nick and I drop off the back and roll for a few miles before I say good night.
So here is a guy that can make his bike go relatively fast but is over riding his brains capacity. His fb post this morning shows his power file (like anyone cares) and a comment how he almost crashed on the ride last night!

Here is my plea, if you know any riders like this, send them the blog link. These are supposed to be training rides, not races. There is a time to go fast and  time not to. Stopping for stop signs is more difficult than rolling through them, it is better training for everyone. If you want to attack the group great, do it on a straight road or when it can be done safely. Maybe one of TCO’s will read this and make sense, maybe not.

Thank you and safe riding everyone. See you at a race soon.


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