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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Brookside Run

No band practice tonight, but there were two group rides vying for my ridership. By vying, I mean they existed, not that it mattered if I showed up.

One was the Blue Moose group, which appears to be the same people who's dust I ate Tuesday evening. I didn't even eat much of their dust, I couldn't keep them in sight long enough. By the time I got there the dust had settled and I'd have had to lick the street to eat it.

And nobody was likely to hold my hand and show me the general outline of the Blue Moose route, so I headed to the Brookside group that leaves from the Roasterie. It's close to where I work, so I just mounted up and left from the office. Described as a no drop ride, I pictured something like the Trek Recovery group, which is such a fun social occasion I'd keep doing it even if I hated to ride (which I don't).

Not really the same vibe as the Trek group. Much larger group, so maybe that's it. Or maybe it's because it's Brookside and they could smell that the big guy in the Hawaiian shirt was not a Volvo-driving public television subscriber. Anyway, without preamble (seems like all the groups I've ridden with have at least bothered to give a speech about how we'll obey all the traffic laws even though we won't when it comes to side-street stop signs), we were rolling.

It's a pretty ride, Brookside is lovely, and there's some entertaining hills on the route. Not too brutal to climb, I didn't have to stop and feel sorry for myself. And the downhill part through Mission Hills was fun.

Then we got over to Johnson County, Lamar in particular and it kinda went sour for me. Crossing 71st, and we'd kinda piled up inevitably at the light (there were probably 40-50 riders in the group). A car was almost kissing a few bikes and I realized, there were three and four abreast and even where there were only two bikers side by side, there was enough room for two cyclists to ride between them.

Folks, even cyclists get pissed off when they're driving a car and get caught behind people doing this. Right after I took up cycling this year, a coworker commented about people riding three and four side by side who wouldn't yield to a car under any circumstances, and I was 'I've never seen that happen.' Well, now I have, and I was embarrassed to be seen with a group that discourteous. Not that my presence is any great prize, but I'd think twice about riding with the group again after this.

Then, when we were crossing 75th on Lamar, the alpha dogs from the Blue Moose group passed in an eerily silent, alarmingly fast line. A rider near me commented that they could at least call out 'on your left' as they passed.

At least those incredibly fast, arrogant bastards were single file. And the next pack from that group that passed me did indeed call out, 'on your left.' I guessed they had some humility because the alphas were 15 minutes ahead by now.

I'm not saying I don't make mistakes, I surely do. The chick who showed me what the Brewery Ride looks like at 1/3 speed pointed out I'd cut off a car Tuesday. I thought I had plenty of time, then gears slipped and I got off to a rocky start, and I really didn't realize I'd ended up cutting it close. I hope that's different from pretending you actually own the road...

18.6 miles including my commute to and from work to the route. Averaged 10.8 mph, not exactly greased lightning. Less than two weeks to BikeMS, can't say I'm prepared.

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