By the way, I don't know why Strava's embed code no longer lists ride achievements. I mean, if I can't brag about my KOMs on my own blog through my embedded Strava data, what's the point?
Tuesday ended up being a very eventful group ride. Just not for me. The Helotes group ride is kind of known for poor group riding skills. The Southside Tuesday nighter is a little faster, a little testier. It is ridden as more of a race than just a spirited group ride. Apparently, there was some disagreement on the Southside about who did or didn't do their share of the work closing a gap. Ther was also an issue of safe riding in a fast moving group. It got pretty heated. There was all kinds of yelling, finger pointing, and swearing followed by a tersely worded Facebook post. I'd share the Facebook post but it has been deleted. It would be interesting to see what prompted the removal of the post. I have a feeling certain pressures were applied because it was posted on a group page not somebody's personal Facebook page. Or the moderator of the page just deleted it. It doesn't really cast the San Antonio cycling community in the best light to have that kind of thing on your page.
I guess the take home lessons are:
1. We all need to either do our share of the work in the paceline or get out of the way
2. Sitting up when at the front of the group or taking hands of the handlebars when riding in the middle of a fast charging peloton are not welcome
3. We all need to be willing to give and receive constructive criticism on a group ride.
There was no more riding until Friday afternoon when I was able to sneak in 16 miles. I was feeling pretty good and decided to have a run at some hills, one of which started as a Strava segment up a climb which then continued over the other side. I am generally not a big fan of downhill Strava segments because there are safety concerns. I also tend to not contest segments that cross traffic lights for the same reason. I was on pace for a KOM on the 3.4 mile segment but there is a traffic light a quarter mile from the finish that was red. I was stopped for 30-60 seconds by the light. I may be a Stravasshole but I won't blow through a traffic light to contest a segment. These segments should probably be flagged as hazardous because they encourage people to ignore traffic signs and signals.
On Friday I also had my new camera delivered. Its a Sony DSC TX-30, which is waterproof to 10m and should stand up to the sweaty torture of my jersey pocket a little better than the previous one. I am still playing with the settings on it and figuring out how to get the best pictures while riding.
On Saturday it was raining in the morning and the rides were cancelled. My mom was in town visiting so we headed out to watch a movie with the kids around midday and then headed up to the bat tunnel near Fredericksburg. After a little hike, a big cheeseburger, and a little waiting we were treated to a fascinating 30 minute display of 3 million Mexican freetail bats flying out of their roost. It was an amazing site, much more spectacular than I had anticipated.
|Granny with Keira and Noah at the Bat Tunnel|
The other excitement from Saturday was that I got a package delivered from DiNotte. DiNotte are located in New Hampshire and make some of the best cycling lights around. The are light, bright, and durable with great customer service. I got a 1600 lumen XML-3 headlamp and the new Quad taillight. They are bright, I can't wait to get some rides in with them.
On Sunday I was able to get out for a proper ride. I had several different options for my ride and I chose to meet the Wheelmen in Helotes for a ride down to Castroville. It's 58 miles from Helotes but 72 from the house. I spun over to the start of the ride. Overall the turnout was pretty low, as far as the usuals go, so I was glad I had gotten in touch with Warren, Greg, and Tim to make sure they were coming. There were about 15 of us all together. I pulled the first 15 miles with Warren in a double paceline. I sat in for 8 miles before rejoining Warren at the front for a fast run-in to Castroville at 26+ mph for 5.5 miles. We were helped by a gentle tailwind.
The group stayed together pretty well on the way to Castroville. Things got more difficult on the way home. This is a bit unusual as we were going into the wind and that usually helps keep the group together. Warren and I pulled for 5.5 miles and then sat in for a bit. Things were a bit squirrely in the paceline because folks couldn't figure out that the riders in a double paceline pull of to the outside and the other riders pull through the middle. Then some riders would get to the front and immediately slow down. Or get to the front and start strong but progressively fade, yet were unwilling to pull off and allow the others to pull through. Sometimes the rider on the front was doing just fine but the rider behind would come around on the left with nobody following his wheel and completely oblivious that all the riders in front of him waited for the lead rider to pull off and then just maintained the same speed as they assumed the lead. It was too tough for Warren and I to sit in with that going on so we moved to the front, strung it out into a single paceline, and generally stuck to the front. Our group slowly shed riders until we were down to 5. It ended up being a pretty tough ride. There was a lot of time on the front and I haven't been getting the miles in like usual recently. I was tired when I got home. Tired in a good way. This was my first ride with the Wheelmen since August 9th, over 6 weeks. It was good to ride with some folks I hadn't ridden with in a while but my absence made me more aware of the differences in bike handling and group riding skills.
My wife has had a nasty cold so she wasn't able to go to the cooking class she had scheduled for her and my mother. That meant that I was filling in. I was the only male there, and possibly the youngest person there. We were the only ones with enough foresight to bring a bottle of wine. That earned us a lot of jealous glances. We cooked Boeuf Bourguignon along with some appetizers, a side dish, and dessert. It was not something I would have done normally, but it was fun and I was glad I went. The food turned out delicious. Although, that might have been the wine talking.