Wednesday, May 13

My Own Medicine

Okay, last July I wrote about being a hammerhead at casual group rides as something to do, and mildly entertaining. Well. It occurred to me yesterday that it is totally obnoxious.

See, I went to check out the Tuesday recovery ride at Gus' Bike. I brought my 30-pound steel touring bicycle because I figured it would be an easy ride. Well, the tables got turned. NorEast has a new punk new-comer that wants to make you cry, and his name is Evan. Rami's vaguely coming in to form, but doesn't ride often enough to need recovery rides. Another three or four guys were feeling strong. Almost as soon as we head out of the parking lot, Even and Rami turn on the juice, and we're doing 26 mph for no apparent reason. And worse, it's not a steady pace line--everyone's jumping around to the front and semi-attacking and just generally being a meathead. This is how the lead group in the Slouch Potato forms, as well. The primary problem with this is that it leaves gaps in the line. So whoever's in front of me jumps up ahead and leaves a gap. I'm not particularly in the mood to close a gap at around 25 miles per hour so I let it sit open, ever-so-slowly widening. The two guys left behind me just jump around me to catch up.

And I'm dropped, off the back, good game--that was stupid. Five minutes in to the "recovery ride" and I'm dumped. I was swearing to myself, indignant that my teammates would be so rude to totally disregard the purpose of the ride and ride like total jackasses. I mean, until I realized that jackassery was one of the ideals that I've always upheld. But here I am on this tank of a touring bicycle with giant tires and . . . so yeah, it was frustrating. I resolved myself to bike home alone at my own pace, and the rest of them could put it in their collective ass.

Until I came to the corner to turn on the Route 1A and head north, towards home. Jeff, the Gus' Bike shop owner, and his son were waiting for me. They were just in for a recovery ride too so they decided not to follow the group. What a relief. We took a reasonable pace up the coast and took turns drafting and heading the wind. Eventually, even the rest of the group turned around to meet us. . . .

And then immediately blasted around us. On both sides. Rami cruises by the three of us, in our peaceful little paceline, on the right, basically in the gutter. It was one of the most obnoxious maneuvers I've ever seen someone perpetrate on a bicycle. I mean, other than myself. Because that's totally the sort of thing I'd do almost any other day of the week. So we immediately got dropped again. It was stupid. There was absolutely no purpose in turning back just to hammer again. This time I tried to hang in but couldn't make it, I was in the middle of no-man's land with no desire to catch up, so I stopped and waited for Jeff and his son, but they never came. They had turned around to go home, since their work had been done, and the ride no longer needed them. I biked home alone.

There is one other thing though. The fires of my power core and fueled with fury and rage--things that have been in short order in my life lately. Retribution will be the game at the Slouch this evening.

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