Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Man's Ego Is A Delicate Flower

I casually mentioned that I joined the "Turtle Ride" Monday night. It's a ride that is put up by a couple from the Spartanburg Freewheelers. There is 12-14mph group and a 15-16mph. The faster ride normally ends up somewhere in the 28 to 32 mile range on weekly changing routes with a mixed group of people. The ride starts just down the road from work, so it's a perfect fit for me.

But that is not the real topic of the post, it just provides the setting.

During the ride, there are a couple of stretches of road where everyone goes as fast as they want/can until you get to the next Stop sign. On one of the open stretches, we had a little race going on:

There was one guy in a full Freewhelers kit that took off right away and another girl stuck on his wheel until she couldn't hold on any longer. So those two were basically already out of sight and out of mind in the first half mile of the open zone.

I passed an older gentleman and offered to pull some. Shortly after that, I got passed by another guy and tried to stay on his wheel. During that process we dropped the older guy and it was leisurely riding for me for the next mile while I was drafting. He kept on checking over is his shoulder every 10 seconds, if I was still there. At one point, he pointed to the side of the road to make me aware of the gravel that was on the ground due to which I eased up maybe a second. He checked over his shoulder, noticed me dropping off a little and then he put down the hammer and I wasn't able to catch him anymore! Alrighty then, I guess I wasn't aware that we are racing here, but I guess that's part of the fun and also good training.

 Pic is from here.

I am not saying here, that I am free of being competitive... Not at all, it kinda helps training and racing****. On the bike, the only guys that I am able to "beat" are the ones at least twice my age and twice my body weight and even that is not a safe bet. What I am saying is, that I think guys just taking it harder to be passed by a woman*, even if they fall in the category above (2x my age, 2x weight). Last year Terry and I did a ride out in Spartanburg once. There was a lot of climbing involved and I am good** climber.  Anyways, halfway through the ride Terry mentioned to me that the guys start getting peed off at me for dropping them on the climbs. But they obviously didn't have an issue with dropping me on the downhills*** and the flats, so really my empathy is kind a limited on that matter.

*for what reason would there be the expression "getting chicked" exist, if it wouldn't bother so many of them
**of course it helps that I am lighter than most guys to start with
***mental note: have to work on bike handling skills
**** even though I never say that my racing is competitive

All of this has to be taken in good fun!

Later on the guy that dropped me, the older guy and myself pedaled next to each on the last couple of miles talking about the youtube video of Fabian Cancellara at Paris Roubaix this year when he dropped the whole field and the rumors about an electric motor being used. Bike geek stuff I guess... Even though I never considered myself as a bike geek either.

So long! ;-)

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