Boy it's been a long time since I posted...I suck.
I have this new thing I'm going through where I try to add value with all of my actions. I wash the dishes to have a cleaner house...value added. I provide comments on documentation only if they are needed to improve the quality of the final product...value added. It's been pretty good so far, but I've been pretty quiet online because of it. I haven't had much value to add to the online-osphere (is that trademarked?). So I figured I'd post about something that's been bothering me the past couple of weeks. Not really bothering, but just sitting in the back of my mind: Thursdays nights at Hains Point. Hopefully, it'll add value. :)
There should be four types of bike riders that show up for the group ride on Thursday nights down at the point. Depending on the day, and even the lap, you should be able to classify yourself within one:
1) The aggressor, the pusher-of-the-pace, the screw-turner, the one who strikes fear into the hearts of other bike riders. You show up to the Thursday night group ride to dish out pain and suffering to everyone else each lap. You're less happy winning the bunch sprint to the line and would be more satisfied crossing the line first and leaving a shredded field behind you gasping for air and waiving their little white flags in surrender. You attack often, you ride smooth, and you believe that the ride is safer between 30 to 35 mph than it is between 20 to 25 mph.
2) The organized rider, sometimes the sprinter, sometimes the leadout, each lap their is a goal for the lap. Maybe you'll organize a leadout train with the rest of your teammates that show up this lap and then attack and counter with a teammate the next. Maybe you'll take a 2K flyer at the beginning of the lap. Maybe you sit in every lap and then set yourself up in the top 5 for the sprint once you cross the double manholes. You understand when you're out of the sprint. You're not dangerous and you don't take crazy risks because you know that this is training and the glory is in winning the race and not the bathroom sprint.
3) The along for the ride rider, the enjoying the camaraderie rider, the check out my sick new 404s on my new colnago guy, the "I'm getting stronger and one day will whip all of you guys" guy. You're out to enjoy the pace and get a workout and aren't contesting the sprints. You're holding onto the back end of the group and will contribute in a pace line if one forms, but aren't going to be spending much time on the front. You don't sprint for the line because you want to hang with the group for all the laps and not just one or two. You're safe in a pack. You don't do anything stupid because you don't want to risk getting your bike all messed up with pavement. You let the guys coming off the front back into the paceline in front of you when they're looking over their shoulder for a draft. You know what people should be doing because you used to be in groups 1 and 2 before (you actually might be in that group but are taking a recover day/recovery lap). You also might not quite be strong enough to be in the 1 and 2 group yet, but you're working on it, and until then, you understand that it is safer for you to hang back.
4) The Suck. You are dangerous. You sprint for the line when there is no chance you can win. You like to contest the sprint when you are 30th wheel when the first person jumps. You like to pass cars on the outside when they are trying to turn left at a stop sign. You ride way too close to riders being passed by the group when you are on the front. You surge during pacelines and aren't smooth. When you "pop" you just sit up and stop pedalling instead of letting those behind you know you are about to blow up. You're strong, but you're not yet 100% comfortable in a pack and swerve left and right way too much. You'll sit in when guys from 1 & 2are killing themselves on the front driving the pace and attack them for the sprint way to early (disrupting the whole thing).
I guess the goal at HP on Thursday nights is to find yourself in either 1, 2, or 3. If you see that you're a type 4...reconsider what you're doing and try to get back to being a 1, 2, or 3. It's better for everybody.
See you next Thursday at HP....cheers.