Tuesday Ride: Intimidation, Flat Tires and a Crash

The GVC has pretty much disowned the weekly Farmers Market Ride. I don’t know the precise reason, but I suspect there’s a feeling that it’s gotten too big and too fast to be considered a club ride. For the past year I’ve been recruiting riders to join our B group, and the effort’s paid off. We have about a dozen core riders who show up each week, and our numbers are growing. And for those who do show, the ride’s a treat.

It is the fastest ride I do all week. It’s more competitive than our other weekly rides. And it’s not out of bounds to try to drop other riders. But it’s still pretty social, and nowhere near as intimidating as some make it out to be – at least among our group.

About seven miles into tonight’s ride I’d gone to the front of our group on a small hill, and had started pulling at about 18 mph. I heard some commotion behind me, and the words “rider down.” We slowed, turned back, and saw the rest of the group milling around. Someone had crashed – I have no idea how – and Dave, who was on his wheel, landed on top of him. No injuries – no one even had a scratch. But the guy who touched down first had a broken front wheel and was out of commission. Jerry, who he ran into (but who stayed upright), had a broken spoke on his rear wheel. No problem – he wrapped the spoke around another and kept going. Someone mentioned that Herb, who I noticed was missing, had flatted a half mile back.

A lady who witnessed the whole thing offered to carry the guy who crashed back to the Farmer’s Market, thus earning major karma points. And the rest of us rolled on.

The rest of the ride was far less eventful, though Annie flatted with about ten miles to go. We waited…waited…waited, until another group of cyclists rolled up and passed along word that Annie, Scott and Carl wanted us to keep going. And we did.

Total for the evening: 31.9 miles.

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