Category Archives: Pack Ride

What Type of Rider Am I

I’ve found a great circle of cycling friends on Google+, with a large variety of different styles, from highly functional commuters, to racers, climbers, cyclocross, to long distance century and double century riding, and even randoneurs.  So that got me thinking of my cycling progression.

Bikes have always been a part of my life, ever since I took the family bike out to the grassy backyard, and taught myself how to ride (without training wheels), using a fence as my balancing mechanism.  When everyone was driving to school in high school, I was out there on my bike.  I had no car, and did not want to take the school bus.

I didn’t really take it up seriously until after I got my first professional job after college (retail store job does not count).  That’s when I bought a Miele, and on clipless pedals (way back in 1988).  That’s when I first started out doing club rides, and thinking 50 miles was long distance.

As I got more experienced, I started getting the speed bug.  Then, I saw Montrose pack ride, which is a huge pack of about 100 riders, racing through the streets of San Marino, Arcadia, Irwindale, Duarte, and Monrovia.  But I knew I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with these guys.  I’m not sure what category these guys and gals are … maybe Cat 3?  My usual routine was to go out every weekend, and just see how long I can hang in with the group.  Usually it’s half way, which is about 10 miles, or when we get out of Arcadia.  If I lasted the whole ride, it would be a scant 40 miles.

I did climb hills at this time, and I thought I was a climber, but I did have a fear of the mountains.  The San Gabriel Mountains were very close by, and yet I made every attempt to avoid them.

Then in 1998, I made a career move, and moved from So Cal to Nor Cal, and man there are hills here.  I soon had to go with a triple, so that I could finish these hills.  But even after that, I found myself always last up the really tough hills.

I eventually was convinced I should do double centuries, and that started my trend of riding everywhere possible, and avoid using a car at all cost.  I even sold my car, but family forced me to buy one … grrrr.  Anyhow, u became a California Triple Crown rider, completing at least 3 double centuries in one calendar year.

Riding a double century takes a lot of discipline and patience.  It also forces you to be an early riser, and be on the bike fit extended periods of time, getting used to riding in the rain, and in the dark.  I think I’ve got burned out of double centuries, and now re-evaluating what you’re if rider I am.

I don’t think I’m a racer, although I have twitchy muscles where I can hone that.  I like to climb, but I’m not a climber.  If I was, I’d do DMD in a heartbeat.  I’m probably a long distance rider, but that takes so much of your day away.

Hmmm …. time for self realization …. what you’re if rider am I?  What type of Rider are you?

HOP (House of Pain) Lite without winds – #30daysofbiking

It’s all the rage .. well, at least in my small bikeforums community it is.  It is the House of Pain … the lite version.  A pack ride starting in Danville, which goes out to Livermore then loops back.  It’s a nice 50 miler, with close to 1500 feet climbing, so it’s pretty flat.  Good terrain to do a fast pack ride.  It’s about the same climbing as Montrose, but the pack is half the size, and from what I’ve observed, the pace is not as intense.

As expected, once we got into open areas, without traffic lights, the pack turned the screws up.  The house of pain opened its doors when we got to Highland.  I was able to keep up for most of the way, but fell off the back half way through the ascent on Highland, then recovered enough for another final burst before being passed up again until the regroup.

Other than this, I felt really good overall.  There was a slight confusion, when we got to Collier Canyon, and was unsure if we were supposed to regroup at the top or not.  I saw a few regroup there, so I stopped by.  But as soon as I stopped, a few others went on down the hill, so off we went … not knowing that was supposed to be the regroup spot.  Oh well.

At this point, it was Donald and me riding back, and there weren’t very many ahead of us, and couldn’t find any on back of us.  Well, hopefully there aren’t many turns we need to negotiate .. both of us didn’t know the area too well.  Just as we were going to make a wrong turn, we hear the roar of the pelaton, then we swung onto the back, and blended our way into the pelaton.

Fun ride.  Of course, after a pack ride like that, we gotta take over Peet’s Coffee.  It was great to see a bunch of BF’ers there.

And here’s the biggest surprise … I went ahead and uploaded this to Strava, and I actually got 4th on the list for this ride.  Won’t be long before this is gone.

Stats:  49.1 miles, 1455 feet climbing, average speed 19.2 mph.  Wow, I can’t remember the last time my average speed was that high.  It’s usually down around 10-12 mph.