Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Bad Roadie

Or maybe "Bad Photo-shopper". I posses neither the skills nor the time to hold myself to the standards of The Dicky. I think what I did accomplish was actually adding significant creepiness to an already creepy box cover. If you've done one thing, you've done something.

After committing last minute to supporting a bike to work thingy out in Natick for Mathworks, which will have me waking up at 5:30AM, which is going to suck. I decided that it would be totally appropriate for me to duck out of the work and go see what the Tuesday Night Championships of The Universe or whatever the hell it's called is all about. Hey wait a second...what's that peanut gallery? 5:30Am isn't that early? You get up every day at that time? That's just dandy, but what time do you get home from work? I got home a 9:15 tonight. Last night I got home at 10PM. When do you get home? Wait, don't answer, just sit there and sip on a tall, cool, glass of shut the fuck up.

Anyway, the thing, the road ride, the fast guy thing they do on the Tuesday nights that I'd never been to. It starts about a five minute ride from the shop, I realized that I could duck out, about ten minutes before go time, I suited up like an emaciated Clark Kent with an oddly doughy mid-section and stomped over to Nahanton Park...where I found no one. So I called up my favorite Jon Bruno and asked him if he was going to the big, fast, ride thingy. "Ya, I'm there now?". "Where's there? Obviously not here". "We meet up on the other side of the highway, get up here, hurry, we're about to take off".

Stomp some more, up over the overpass, got there in time, barely. I felt like I was kind of standing out in the midst of all the Dura Ace and 1000 gram wheelsets. Dudes was like "Whoah, check out that Shimano 600 9 speed, slam-min! Yo is that a Centaur front brake with a Shimano lever? Damn son! And I am feelin' the bald Pro race 3 in the front and the Conti Gatorskin in the rear".

The pace was pretty reasonable from the gun, I thought I'd just work on my leg speed, spin a wicked high cadence, and get a good aerobic workout without all the mashy mashy of the riding the single speed all the time. Half way through the ride things went Mr. Hyde all of a sudden. A split formed then a chasm, I was on the wrong side of it. My goal was to hang with the front group even if I couldn't pull through. I had work to do. I bridged across, tacked back on and looked behind me, I had dragged no one across. I had made the selection, sweetness.

Being a bad roadie you effectively get a much better workout in. You pull through, spend too long on the front, upping the pace too much, then you pull off and backslide, timing your re-entry to the pace line all wrong, then have to chase back on, and when you do finally get back on, gasping and sputtering, you aren't ever really in the pocket because you're a mountain biker and you couldn't catch a draft on top of Mt. Washington in a Hurricane.

The true badness occurred as we were coming back into Dover center, there was a car in our lane turning left at the light, it was causing a total screenshot for oncoming traffic, I threw a hand behind my back to indicate that I was slowing, then I saw that a car which was approaching the intersection in the opposite direction was indeed turning although it had no blinker on, I let out a shout at the car, which is something I do, but which also caused some panic behind me. "Don't yell! That's the worst thing you can do!". OK, next time I'll quietly allow a car to T-Bone all twenty of us. Not sure what the appropriate etiquette in that situation really is. End result, I looked to be the ass.

After that I was sitting in second wheel when the guy in front of me slammed into a pothole or something, I nailed it as well. The guy behind barked "Hey! You could call some of this shit out!". "Sorry I was too busy hitting it myself". Not sure why the dude in front, who is the only person who can actually see where he's going wouldn't call it out, or steer the pace line around it if it's so bad. This whole roadie thing is still kind of a mystery to me. People don't yell at each other on mountain bike rides. Unless I'm riding with Colin, in that case we yell "You suck!" at each other a lot.

I hadn't done an aggro group ride during rush hour in a while. It served to remind me that people suck. I don't know if they got together to work this one out but I heard at least three people yell out of car windows "You're not a car!". Thank freakin' god. And there was the woman who buzzed us while we were probably at or above the posted speed limit. At a light she said "what am I supposed to do? You should be riding single file". I, in an uncannily calm manner informed her that she needed to get on the RMV site and review the laws regarding cyclists. But then there were the kids who yelled "hi bikers!". That was nice. Maybe I will give this ride another go sometime, and I will try not to be such a Bad Roadie.


James said...

Josh got me into doing the road thing 3 years ago and we still go Tuesdays and Thursdays and long rides on Sundays, if there is no race. I'm still learning all the "rules".
One rule I broke caused the 4th guy following (Brian Cantele) to crash. That rule was If your leading don't brake really hard to try not to hit the drunk guy who just walked infront of you.
In general Roadies can be assholes. Thankfully we have a really cool group and hardly any traffic to deal with.
Amazing that you don't do a lot of road riding. Your fitness is out of control!

Justin said...

yeah, you pretty much summed up why I no longer go on group rides anymore.

much rather go go solo or with a few buds.

Wheels said...

You should carry 1 bottle of "Shut the fuck up" on all group rides. You can either drink it yourself, offer it to another rider, or throw it at a car. Very refreshing.

Colin R said...

Hey remember that time when we were road riding, and I was on your wheel, and you rode straight through a pothole and ended up caving in the sidewall of my Kysrium?

You are a bad roadie.

rosey said...

if you want really interesting road riding skills and etiquette, check out the other tuesday night ride:

i joined them last night. got to see two different riders in the "fast group" crash themselves in separate incidents. i think i'll stick to riding with friends instead of strangers in an overly hyped up group.

Raineman said...

Attitude of men + bikes + road race is equivalent to the attitude of man + DSB(Deadly Sperm Backup):
jacked up, anxious, and bent on winning the prize.

Bad stuff kids.

CCC said...

Rosey - I've heard that ride has a crash every week. You're lucky you survived unscathed.

Big Bikes said...

James - I do a lot of road riding, just not the beatdown rides too often.

Justin -Exactly why I don't do these things too often

Wheels - I don't know if Shut the fuck up drink has enough sodium in it for me.

Colin - we were commuting, in the dark, we're both mountain bikers, you can bunny hop...

Rosey - I may have to check that out.

Al - I don't know if roadies can get their "equipment" functioning to the point where they can relieve the DSB. All that static saddle time is a killer.

CCC - Maybe I won't do that ride, also realized that it might constitute a conflict of interest.

Colin R said...


You are remembering the wrong incident entirely. This happened in the morning on a training ride.

That's ok. I'm not upset that you don't even remember that time you destroyed one of my wheels.

Not upset at all.


solobreak said...

Why am I not surprised that Rooter was the one in the back sucking wheel?

Big Bikes said...

Oh yes, my bad. But wasn't that up on Trapelo past the Reservoir where the road was more potholes than not at that point? And didn't I then loan you a wheel while I rebuilt your trashed one?

Just pleading my case for not being a total grade-A douche bag, not saying I'm a good wheel to follow by any means.


rick is! said...

I miss being a bad roadie.

zencycle said...

"Don't yell! That's the worst thing you can do!"

Not true at all, unless it's an angry testosterone pumped male willing to actually run you over. Generally speaking, that isn't the case.

As far as the pace line etiquette for road hazards is concerned, it's the responsibility of the guy at the front to point stuff out. When you see him/her pointing something out, you should do it too. Never assume the person behind you saw the person in front of you point something out.

One last point to James. "In general Roadies can be assholes"

Everyone can be assholes, and road riders don't have a monopoly on the characteristic. Trust me when I tell you that I've run into plenty of asswipes off road.

Many years ago my wife used to accompany me to races, both road and mtn. In general, she felt the road riders were a much more friendly group, less clique-y, and more polite when _not_ racing. she based this in part on going to a few races with our daughter in a stroller, and having the road racers grant the right of way, and politely announce they were passing, versus the mtbrs cutting in front of her and seemingly ignoring the fact that she had a baby in a stroller while they wheeled around her.

I enjoy road racing much more because of the social dynamic. You don't get that riding off road. Sure, I have fun riding with others on long trails, enjoying each others demonstrations of technical skills (or the lack thereof), but you don't get that feeling of team and cooperation.

You have to learn to detach the racer from the rider. As local legend Tyler Munroe puts it: "there's on-the-bike-tyler, and off-the-bike-tyler, don't get them confused"

RMM said...

Roadies yell at each other. We even yell at our friends when they don't call shit out or pull through properly.
If we weren't inclined to yelling and anger, we'd have become mountain bikers instead of roadies.