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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trek Reunion / Valentine's Ride

The Trek Ride has been a staple of my Monday evenings the past couple of years. It was where I first met a cyclist 'hard core' enough to ride in weather as cold as freezing. It was where, on my first pre-BikeMS group ride I saw spots and scared Jennifer that I'd pull off a Dick Cheney impersonation on a 1% grade.

Long after I'd outgrown the ride in terms of physical challenge, I made it a regular ride because of Curtis, Jewya, Kitty, Jill, Roj, Maddy, etc.

When I first started seeing Corinna, I tried to get her to show up for this and other group rides. Mission Farms, Blue Moose, Brewery Ride, etc.

Since she uses her bicycle as a primary mode of transportation, this is an invitation to ride from KCK to JoCo; then ride around in a loop of side streets, then ride back to KCK.

Which, I admit, didn't sound like much of a plan.

I was reminded of a friend describing a rugby hazing ritual called a 'crack chug' which involved drinking a beer poured through the ass of another rugby player. I said it sounded like a really disgusting way to contract hepatitis. He said if I put it that way it sounded dumb. I thought it doesn't have anything to do with how I put it.

I haven't totally abandoned these social rides — I like the people I meet on them. But commuting by bike makes an expensive hobby into cheap transportation and gets you a workout in the process. But I missed my posse and I've been dying to introduce Corinna to them.

On Valentine's Day I managed to cajole a couple of the Trek Ride members into doing the ride (it was cool if not cold) and the rest into at least coming to Dos Reales for margaritas.

Corinna's main bike, a steel frame, old school touring pig with monstrous Surley racks as stout as scaffolding and adventurer wheels with extra spokes, was being overhauled.

Before I even had a rack on my Diamondback, I was told repeatedly by JoCo group ride folk to 'get a road bike—it'll make all the difference in the world.' By 'road bike' they meant a racing bike, aluminum at a minimum, carbon fiber or titanium preferred; drop bars, STI shifters, and ultra-skinny tires.

Corinna's backup bike is a Canondale mountain bike, and she not only slugged it out on those knobby-ass tires from KCK, she did so on a half broken chain when she couldn't work the mojo roadside with her chain break.

So after a quick repair at the Trek Store, we did an abbreviated Trek ride, which was fine with me. I always used to bitch about it if we cut it short, but I rode from Waldo and still had KCK to make before I rested.

It was just Kitty and Jill fleshing out the foursome for the ride, but pretty much the whole sick crew was on hand for Tex Mex and booze.

On the way back, I caught a shot of downtown from across the bridge over the Kaw. I think I want to organize a group ride, maybe once a month, to specifically reach out to the JoCo roadie crowd, take them on tours exploring the city. I live in Johnson County and I love riding the West Bottoms, Argentine, Midtown, the Plaza, etc., now that I've had someone take a minute to show me.

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