Erik's Night Ride...
For the second time in the past three-quarters of a year, yes that is a whopping two times, I rode out on Erik's Night Ride Monday evening. The first time around, I was kind of shocked by the intensity of the pace - it was December after all, the off-season, a time of slower spin-type rides. Tonight was a different matter entirely and I was ready to accept whatever challenge the group wanted to throw down. The group, as I found out, numbered a record-breaking thirty-three riders; most of them come from either the Psycho-lists, Bobie's, or both, and I am sure a lot of them do the Cycling Connection's weekend rides as well.
I figure this is as good as any ride to roll out the old yellow Basso, as the largest hill on the route is that big-ring riser on Baseline at the edge of town. Even the old Mavic rear wheel with its 12-21 cluster is more than enough for that. At one point during the evening Erik (the ride's namesake) noticed the decidedly flatland gearing back there, referring to it as a 'corncob', a term I had never heard before. A pretty apt description, I have to admit. Turns out the Basso was not the lone steel rig I thought it might be. Peugeot, who I have ridden with on occasions in the past, was there, as was an old green Schwinn. A well-kept Schwinn at that. Peugeot, you might notice in the top photo; Schwinn, is a couple photos below, and if you look very, very closely at the second photo you might see the Basso leading the bunch through the turn. Hopefully Rich won't mind, too much, my borrowing the pic.
Five flats in the group, three, or was it four of them courtesy of the same rider, kind of screwed up the flow of the ride. Actually they pretty much completely screwed it up, but hey, that just meant that the chase was on. Remember you can attempt to extend the life of a tire a little too long; as was said, if you can rub a finger along the inside of a tire and see skin through worn spots, it is time for some new rubber. Anyway, as I said, this did not really detract from the fun. After hanging around with the flatters and flattees, and donating a tube to the cause, I got down to the business of pursuit, chasing back to the bunch who continued ahead. That's good stuff, that is, and it has me looking forward to the next of Erik's weekly rides.
who's leading out so powerfully on that sharp looking yellow bike?
If you ride with any of the local groups, Psycho-lists, Bobie's el al, you likely already receive notices via Meetup (both are in the local ride list, right hand column). If not, the ride leaves from the Euro Cafe / Vons parking lot, corner of Baseline and Mills, 7:00 pm every Monday night. It is not a beginner ride, but novices with group riding experience, should find it doable. There are a couple regroup spots in case you fall off the back, but a little familiarity with the route and area goes a long way. The ride follows a loop route of about twenty-three miles, at an average speed of about 16 to 18 mph. Bring your lights, front and rear.