Another Saturday has gone by, which means that another Simi-ride has been attended by me. This week’s ride had an interesting twist to it. It appeared that this week marks the final distance addition to the ride, adding on another 5 or 6 miles on what is known as, “easy street.” As one of the riders mentioned later on in the day, this section shouldn’t be called easy street. The main reason it shouldn’t is because the road is very rough and filled with holes and chewed up pavement. Riding this on my tubeless wheels felt really nice. I was still able to accelerate while minimal vibrations were going on.
The second reason this ride was special was because I invited a novice cyclist friend of mine to come out to give this ride a try. My initial intentions were to put her into a sink or swim situation with her talks of hoping to one day race; that and because I am sadistic and I like to watch people suffer including myself. Once I talked her into coming out I began to develop a conflict from within.
“Is it rude of me as a friend to invite someone from out of town to a fast-paced ride then continue riding with the group if she gets dropped?”
I asked a few co-workers of mine, both male and female to get second and third opinions on my dilemma. Almost everyone said that I should wait and ride with her if she gets dropped. Having heard that from them, I mentally prepared myself to babysit my friend the night before.
When the time came, I just left work off of my twenty-four, got ready, then headed for the start. She was still rearing to go, and met me at the start; with a friend. Since she was with a friend who has ridden with her multiple times, and is more familiar with the area, I felt less obliged to babysit and make sure she didn’t get lost. Now although I was mentally prepared to babysit since the night before, I must admit that once the ride got moving, I had no intention of staying with her if she got dropped. Imagine a group of buffalo running (or galloping. Whatever it is buffalo do to move) down roads, up and down. If one of the buffalo is unable to keep up, they will eventually fall behind. It is highly unlikely for another to separate themselves in the middle of a stampede and risk injuring themselves. That being said, although there was a valiant effort put in, she did not make it to the end of the ride.My first surprise was seeing her friend keep going and leaving her behind. For some strange reason this happening justified me continuing on with the ride.
Long story short, the rest of the ride went off without a hitch and her friend & I ended up finishing the ride together. When I asked, “Where did Michelle go?” he told me she made it back to her car, and is heading to climb Mt. Wilson; I was dumbfounded. Not only did she hang with the group for a good hour, but when she got dropped she made it back to her car & proceeded to climb a mountain on her own. All guilt had instantly been relieved, and confusion aroused.
I got home just fine, had some recovery curry and made mimosas as a treat to myself. Her and I chatted about her ambitious decision to add a ride on top of a ride. When I asked why she did it, she said it was more of an upset, vent-out because I just got dropped from a ride ride. I understood since I have had my fair share of getting dropped on group rides before. There was no anger directed towards me or her friend. She is the type of person who sets her standards higher than most and beats herself up when things don’t quite go her way. Not only was she not upset, she was proud she made it out and was able to hang on for as long as she did. She said she had plans to come out next week and maybe do a shorter installment so she doesn’t get dropped.
Once all was said and done, there were no hard feelings towards one another. In fact, we ended up seeing each other again that night and saw the movie Django (which is a great movie by the way.) I couldn’t have imagined this type of ending to such an eventful day. I thought I was going to get an earful from her, and my friends would not let me hear the end of bringing a novice to a more advanced, fast-paced ride. This turned out to be one of the best-case scenarios. We chatted about bikes and movies that night as usual. Her determination makes me smile. I know now that if I put her in a situation that may be difficult and not possible to accomplish right away, she will get right back up and try again until she comes out on top. The Simi ride has turned into an addiction for me. I am going to try and switch shifts so I am able to make it out next week. It leaves me gasping for air at times, and at other times I feel like I am on top of the world. It is getting late (or early for a Sunday) and I must rest since I got about 4-5 hours of sleep from my twenty four at work and rode about 80 miles at an intense pace.
PS: Here are the results from Saturday’s ride and apparently there was a pro rider with us today (Bonus kudos for me)