[BVC-CHAT] A newbie's $0.02 re. today's Pole Ride
cmenzel at tamu.edu
Sat Aug 9 15:02:20 CDT 2008
On Aug 9, 2008, at 1:29 PM, Gary Varner wrote:
> I'm a "newbie," but FWIW here're two comments on today's Pole Ride.
Uppity newbie!! :-)
> 1. I think that two "portages" necessitated by the construction on
> Rte 166 are preferable to the longish stretch of pot-holes and dirt
> that we rode during today's detour route.
I strongly disagree. One portage might be tolerable, but two are way
too disruptive, especially for people at the front who are working
harder than the folks sitting in. You can't (well, I can't, anymore)
just ramp the pace right back up again after stopping; your legs
(well, my legs) need some time to get back up to speed. Plus, it
takes time to get the group back together after the portage. And it's
especially irksome to have to portage *again* after the first one;
there's not enough distance between them to get back into any sort of
groove. We might as well just do a pleasant spin between the two,
which is just not what this ride is all about. Finally, there will
be, if there isn't already, yet another culvert being replaced, which
would mean a third portage. This ride, for the faster group, is
supposed to be *hard steady* until a couple miles outside Caldwell, at
which point it turns more race-pace. The portages basically destroy
the nature of the ride on the Caldwell leg.
That said, as long as we're riding that dirt stretch, I *do* think we
ought to make more of an effort to keep the group together. A lot of
people aren't comfortable riding dirt at speed, and there are a couple
of pretty sketchy sections. I myself took that first right hand turn
too far on the inside where the gravel was quite deep and I was really
ice skating. I'm not saying dirt lovers like Baker can't go off the
front, but those who want to ride that section with a little less
derring-do should perhaps make an effort to keep those who aren't off
the front together, and we can all regroup at 3058 for a nice
hammerfest back to 166.
> 2. I thought that the pace on the final leg from Twister's back to
> town was supposed to be quite moderate, like a recovery ride. But
> lots of folks got dropped on that leg of the ride today.
> Relatedly, to the guy in the triathlon tanktop to whom I remarked as
> I passed him, "Kinda humiliating to get dropped on this leg of the
> ride," I didn't mean to say that you should feel humiliated; I meant
> that as self-deprecating humor! And FWIW, after I caught the lead
> group and complained about the pace -- at that point about 22 or 23
> mph -- I had to let up and rode the last several miles by myself,
> getting passed by Deb and some other folks who had toiled along at a
> slower, but steady pace.
Keep riding with us and pretty soon that won't happen, Gar! :-)
Historically, the pace on that portion of the ride varies pretty
wildly. When there's a tailwind and a lot of people are in race shape
or close to it, the pace can be pretty quick (though it is always
steady), and I don't really think we want to dictate that that ought
not to be. Remember also that your fitness level has a lot to do with
how comfortable you are, especially at that point in the ride.
Honestly, people really were not hammering today on the return leg at
all; the folks in the front group there were just riding steady, but
are at a pretty high level of fitness right now. The usual practice
for folks who don't like the speed on this section (and this often
includes longtime participants) is just to drop off and ride your
preferred pace home.
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