A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Riding with Big Troy and the Boys

Home on the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies!
I often ride solo when I am in training or out for a leisurely ride. I like to lose myself in thought and enjoy the scenery along Colorado's Front Range. Sometimes, like this morning, I'll meet up with my buddy Troy. These rides are a little more intense, perhaps a bit competitive. As Troy said this morning, "We are perfect training partners. No slackin' when we're riding together!!!"

At the Sprucewood Inn with Big Troy.
Recently Troy and I have been meeting up with his friends John, Mark, Dan and Randy, who push it to a whole 'nother level (I've never tried writng that before and just now realized how grammatically incorrect that is, but I'm still going to say it!). These guys attack Deer Creek Canyon/High Grade Road (a category one climb like those seen on Le Tour) like a pack of wolves on a lamb (OK, so that's hyperbole but you get the picture). Only sometimes I feel like the lamb.

Team BEEF on this year's Elephant Rock ride
I like riding with a small group of strong riders like Troy and the boys, especially in large "event" rides like Elephant Rock, Colorado Bike MS and the Buffalo Bicycle Classic. It's fun to grab the wheel of the guy in front of you and hang on for dear life, taking turns pulling at the front and blowing past riders laboring along on inferior equipment or unconditioned legs.

Riding in large group events does have its challenges, like waiting in line for porta-potties and keeping a close eye out for riders to don't follow the rules of the road. Some people hate it (like my friend Jeff who rode solo from San Diego to Bar Harbor, Maine and wrote a book about it). Others (like me) like the atmosphere and social aspect of riding with a pack of several thousand other riders.

Following the rules of the road is especially important in large group rides and will help you and the other riders avoid serious injury. Nothing puts a damper on the fun like seeing the ambulance cart a rider off the course to the hospital. I've had it happen to friends and have had my own trip to the ER compliments of the Castle Rock Fire and Rescue Department. Not my idea of fun. My first goal in a large group ride is to cross the finish line...on my bike!

My trip to the ER after an unfortunate encounter with a car in 2007. I was lucky that a broken collarbone was the worst of my injuries!
Ride on (and ride safe!)...


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