We rolled out into LR, enjoyed the sunshine, and got 80km. He hasn't ridden in 8 weeks...life...
It was funny. He was very chatty for the first couple of hours. The last 30 minutes or so were decidedly more quiet.
We also turned down Zeigler Rd., out in Hopkins. Thinking the giant "Road Closed" signs might have been an ruse, we rode past them. Well...
The gap is 150+ feet. Bigger than the gap on Air Base, by a wide margin. We turned around. Upon heading back out, we noticed that the crown of the road had shifted a bit. The remaining lane has subsided. It was a bit like riding on a sidehill...
I got back to Service Course and did dad things. Kevin said he laid down and had leg cramps. Been there pal...
No Ridey Sunday, as TS Bonnie was making landfall, and my mother decided to show up 2 hours earlier than planned. Instead, I took a nap.
Should have ridden. It wasn't THAT bad outside...
Monday was that FF50. As usual, we met at the airport, and rode to the ride. Big John rode in from LexCo.
The ride out to the Swamp was uneventful. Even pleasant. The group was HUGE this time around, even with the wet roads, and threat of weather.
Once out of the National Park, things went batshit, as usual. I let it go. I don't have that anger in my legs yet. And honestly, I'm glad I let it go.
Cedar Creek is beat to shit, and borderline dangerous, especially in big groups.
Blackberry is no better, and sadly, someone came to grief.
The front group was hauling ass, in the rain, and someone hit a chunk of displaced pavement @ about 45kmh. Immediately blew the front tire, and he crashed on his head. Not good.
BC was on it ASAFP, and stabilized his head/neck. An Ambulance was called, and to RCEMS's credit, they were there in less than 10 minutes.
Big deal you say? It was a big deal, as we were in the middle of fucking NOWHERE.
We all rolled to the store stop, and kept the pace reasonable.
Another reasonable pace took us back to the park, and then back home.
I ended up with 115km in a tick less than 4 hours. Good stuff.
Now for what A LOT of us have been thinking, and actually discussed...
STOP RIDING OVER YOUR HEADS!!! We know that everyone wants to stay in the front, and show how fast they are. Super. Good for you.
Speed often outstrips ability. Just because you can ride in a group at 25+ mph doesn't mean you have the ability, and experience, to do so.
It's exactly why this crash happened. It's exactly why the last several crashes on group rides have happened.
Know your limits folks!!
Don't ride with your head down. EYES UP!!
Be steady. Don't panic on the bike. That behavior accordians down the group, and creates problems behind you.
Point stuff out. Don't just swerve around it. And point it out well before you get to it. If your eyes are up, the hole/debris/roadkill/whatever should been seen well in advance.
Don't leapfrog!! If you have been shuffled to the middle/back in the course of the ride, stay there. Don't rush the front when it slows down. It's dangerous for EVERYONE.
I cannot count the number of gaps I've had to close because riders have leapfrogged, then run out of steam when the pace picks back up.
Cycling has a STEEP learning curve, especially riding in big groups. The fact that bought a $5000 bike, and all of the commensurate gear is great. Just know the purchase didn't include the ability, and knowledge, that many of us have compiled over the last two decades.
You know how we learned/got taught? We stayed in the back. We listened when advice was given. We got yelled at by the more experienced riders. No one wants that to happen again.
Please, do not take this as some elitist/racer diatribe. It isn't. Cycling is a beautiful, inclusive thing. Everyone is welcome.
It's about safety. The goal should be to have a fun, safe, and even fast ride, then go home to our families.
There's NO podium in the parking lot!!!!
We're in this together folks.