January 2011 Networking Ride recap

I’ve been riding a lot in the dark, snowy mornings lately, so I figured why not show up to the Networking Ride on my single-speed mountain bike?  The roads looked a little sketchy, and I wasn’t sure who’d be showing up (if anyone) for the 20-something degree ride yesterday.

Thankfully, someone DID show up – Bill King; Centurion Data Systems VP and IS Corp road racer.  He did NOT show up on a SS though.  His bike was having some work done, so the shop gave him a brand new, full Dura Ace BMC race rig to use for the afternoon.  Obviously a very even match in rigs – not.

Thankfully, Bill humored me with a nice easy roll around Oconomowoc Lake, then we hit Seester’s for some XX Ambers and a great conversation about strategies for growing business with social media (did I mention that this is a Business Networking event?).  Bill’s got some great ideas, I’d encourage anyone who’s not comfortable with social media to look him up.

Next month’s ride is February 9th, and Spring will be here before you know it.  Bundle up and jump on the train!

Day 1(?) of 2010

So, today was Day 1 of the Rapha “Festive 500”

I hit the road at 5:45am with a nice sized crew of Spokesmen to get a few miles in.  In all honesty, I do not plan to ride 500 kilometers in the next 8 days, but it was a good idea to have rattling around in my brain as the sun came up.  Great weather (high 20’s) relatively speaking, and the roads were pretty clean.

The best part of the ride (aside from bc buying a round at Starbucks for anyone who rode in) was finally meeting Denny Yunk, who I have known via email and bike circles for years, but had never met.  He is as cool as laid back as I had hoped, and his commuter bike is a work of art.

(the legendary Denny Yunk)

Spokesmen ride again tomorrow at 7:00am… we’ll see if I add to my 2010 mileage, or catch up on a little sleep instead for Christmas Eve.

7 things I learned today about Florida group rides

  1. It gets cold here sometimes. I left at 6:45 this morning and it was in the low 50s.  Not cold for November by Wisconsin standards, but pretty chilly when you have shorts and a short-sleeved jersey on.  So glad I left my arm warmers back inside the locked house.  When I showed up for the ride, some guys had toe warmers and beanies on, no one had bare arms, few had bare legs… except me.  I wore them like a Sconnie badge of courage.
  2. An 85 mile “group ride” in San Antonio, Florida is actually a training ride.  I lined up with about 30 Spanish-speaking South American Cat 1s to take off.  They weighed about a buck-thirty and their thighs were the size of pumpkins.  I was starting to feel like the minnow in a shark tank.  We took off and I was in the “A” group which meant once we got rolling, an average speed in the high 20’s.  I’m pretty sure I spit out my heart and at least 1 lung by mile 30.  Thankfully, we stopped to refill bottles at 43 miles, and the South American freaks of nature kept going.  Even though I was able to hang on up to that point, I was pretty sure I would have been left behind shortly afterward if I had stayed with them.  We re-formed an “A-” group, took the pace down a couple notches for 5 or 6 miles, then ramped it back up.
  3. Central Florida is hilly.  Not Colorado hilly, but Minnesota hilly.  We had over 2,500 feet of climbing in 60 miles.  I had no idea. I just assumed the whole state was flat.
  4. There’s a giant douche-bag in every big, open group ride, and Florida is no exception.  Mr. Steroid McSprintalot was not there to make friends today, he was there to slowly zig-zag his way up hills and then crush the sprints.  Nothing like a guy who can’t hold a line dropping F-bombs on me as I pass him because I didn’t call out “on your right!”.  Whatever.  Douche-bag.  Everyone else was pretty cool, except the South Americans might have been calling me the douche-bag and I just didn’t understand them…
  5. Pacelines have not made their way to Florida yet.  70+ people, and the whole group rides 1,2,3 & 4 up with the strong guys just staying in front, sometimes way over the centerline.  It was bizarre.  I would tuck in behind someone, waiting to take a pull, and then 3 or 4 guys would eventually just pull around and spread out.  No organization, no working together.
  6. Sitting up and blocking HAVE made their way here.  This was a group ride, but anytime a teammate went off the front, the other guys on the team would block.  WTF?  This is a group ride, not Superweek.
  7. All in all, it’s pretty cool to show up to a parking lot at dawn a thousand miles from home and have more than 70 other people there ready to get after it.  Cycling is cycling, and almost everyone I talked to today (when I could talk) was really cool and there for the same reason as me.

November Networking Ride

About 17 or so riders braved the chilly November weather… no wait, that was last year.

Today, about 17 riders enjoyed the beautiful mid-60 degree afternoon in November on a 36 mile ride through Lake Country, West of Pewaukee.  Awesome day, awesome weather and a great group of riders who were comfortable riding in a chat group at 19.5mph.  Hard to believe we’re just over a month away from Christmas, until you look up at the wreaths on the streetlights:

After just 1 delicious Modelo Negro, Andrew Ohlsson and I took off to ride home, and I swear the temp dropped 50 degrees.  Felt like I was riding home in Winter in my underwear.

See you all in on December 8th!

Welcome to Hell boys!

5 rides in the last 60 hours.  Not too much mileage overall, but it feels like I’ve just worked, ridden and slept (a little) this week.

Yesterday’s monthly Networking Ride went off as usual.  We picked a set route and then varied from it, separating the group and losing a person or 2 in the process.  Not a very “organized” organized ride.  It was hot and humid and the handful of cheese and crackers I was able to pound down before the ride didn’t really fill the tank enough for 50 miles.  The vodka-lemonade afterward helped a little, but the 18 gallons of water I drank the rest of the night helped a lot more.  We had a good, but not great turn-out; 18(?) riders or so.  The most “fun” part was taking a short-cut thorough a subdivision where every road was a court that went downhill.  I think we tried 37 ways to get out before we found a walkway through a park to get us back to the road.  I think the subdivision is called “Purgatory”…  Some riders may still be looking for the exit today.

This morning it was the infamous Puker, and hour or so of hill repeats.  The turnout was a little on the light side, which I was hoping for anyway since I didn’t really have the legs for a beat-down.  On Tuesday I figured I’d bring the single-speed to this ride and drop the hammer, but when I rolled into the driveway last night I was 100% sure I’d be taking my light, geared road bike.  I’ll just have to live with that choice when I get passed at the next race.

Tonight – putting man-sized gears on the single-speed for the upcoming WORS race; 36:15 (26″).  Then I have a week or so to see if my legs can even turn those.

Tomorrow, a Pewaukee Lake ride at 5:30am followed by work, followed by beer.  After that, all bets are off.