Monday, June 18, 2007

Content to sit in?

Are you content to sit in ? What I mean is, if you're riding in a group, do you prefer to just sit in the group and stay on wheels the whole ride or do you like go to the front and work to keep the ride at a high pace.

On the Saturday Judson ride after going to the front and taking a few pulls in the paceline, I drifted back to the middle of the pack (40+ riders). Maybe it was a loss of concentration, I don't know, but I found myself on the far right, 3 abreast, not my preferred position. A rider to my left who I did not know said "This is great, getting towed along at 30 mph. Not having to do anything."

I smiled and thought to myself, "but I want to do something, I didn't come out here for an easy ride." I looked aver at the guy and said "I gotta move back up front," he said, "come on over," let me in and I did.

Yet again, cycling illustrates life. "Sitting in" or going to the front? Letting someone else work for me or doing some of the communal work myself. Sometimes, physically, all I can do is sit in, but when I am able, I want to go to the front.


Anonymous said...

Three comments for the wheelsuckers on Judson:

If you never sweat when you ride it doesn't mean you are in good shape- it means you are not working hard enough.

If you are too afraid of the wind, and want to suck wheel for the entire Judson ride (60 miles or so) you totally suck and should get a different sport.

Some guys on the Judson will attack, or make their first hard turn at the front, after someone does a blinder- these individuals are known as assholes.



Anonymous said...

Excelent post..

I'm frequently shocked when I look back at a light and see how many strong guys are sitting there, not contributing, usually it just pisses me off and I pull harder.

Judson is an odd group ride because all the lights allow for guys to get back on. Try the shoot out in Tucson for the total opposite. Guys get dropped left and right in the middle of the damn desert. It makes for a long ride home. The guys who are just capable of sitting in get flicked, and can't get back on.

It's all good, work the frong and you'll be stronger. it would be nice to have more cooperation though, the ride could easily average 26 if people were all taking some pulls.

chiefhiawatha said...

Guys guys take it easy. Every person is in the sport for his own reasons. So what if there aren't enough guys "working". Let people draft, who is anyone to tell anyone else what to do on a recreational ride?

These rides are for fun, let's not get too weird about who is doing what.

Chris said...

I'm with Patrick. Everyone has their own thing. There are Judson rides when I'll sit in more than usual, just because of training objectives ... Judson isn't my race, I've got other fish to fry. If someone wants to suck my wheel, fine -- but know that I will ride you into the ground if I need to.

Anonymous said...

Recreational rides like Judson have the ability to be something for everyone. Example, if your training calls for heavy efforts; go to the front. If your training or fitness level calls for an easy day then sit in. What is important to note is that, if you are in easy mode and sitting in, please do not use stop lights as an opportunity to move up in the group, only to slowly drift back.

That said, all begining cyclists need to start somewhere and those who are brave enough to show up on a group ride deserve the sensation of the wind in their hair at 30 mph. Many great cyclists began their riding career as Cat 1 wheelsuckers and have progressed as their fitness and dedication have allowed. As long as everyone plays safely I have no issues with those who sit in.

fasterjim said...

Just to clarify- this piece was meant to be a critque of me, not anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I will ride you into the ground Chris!


Team Mack

Anonymous said...

I think you guys need to man-up. Here's my advice.

1. Get bike related tattoos (see Chris Bolling's for a great example).
2. Start a blog about your exploits.
3. Everything else will fall into place.


The Northbrook Velodrome Angel

Anonymous said...


Whoever the smartass is who used Team Mack(tm)(tm) in a post, please retract this post immediately of face civil action.

Don't you know Jim is an attorney?
His offices have computer forensics and we will find you!

Team Mack (tm) tm (tm) is the Registered Trademark(tm) (not to mention service mark)(sm) of Team Mack, a team of cyclists from Peoria, where I live.

As you know, I have raced with Greg LeMond and I am important. What you, anonymous poster, do not seem to know is that I am also a real stickler for propriety when it comes to this kind of tom foolery and I do not take kindly to this kind of low spoofery. (I need simply refer you to my lawsuit pending against one M. Drubbinhiemer, for calling me Head Smack.)

To clarify, in no way did Team Mack post the threat against Chris Strout. In no way was there any implied statement that Team Mack was superior to Team MetLife, that would be absurd!

Thank You.

Gary Doerning