October 14, 2016
A little late today but… It’s a Belle Isle Saturday. 8:30 from Beverly or 9:15 from Royal Oak. This is possibly the last one of the year; thanks to JC for leading these out.
Regular 9 am Beverly Ride also, possibly with Marc or another volunteer at the helm add I can’t ride this Saturday.
October 11, 2016
It looks like another unseasonably nice evening for an October ride. Any route suggestions or requests from the peloton? Square Lake loop returning via Wabeek? Stupidly steep dirt climb from Cranbrook Road up to the Trowbridge loops? Past the Frank Lloyd Wright off Lone Pine on the outbound? Something else? All of the above?
Hey, you, get off of my lawn!
October 7, 2016
Group rides at night bring some extra safety challenges, so listen up please.
It is impossible for leaders to be aware of cars-back at night; if I look back I can’t distinguish cars from bike lights. It is therefore even more imperative than during the day that riders at the rear call out “cars back- single file” when needed so that we don’t block auto traffic (like we did last night on Kensington). Similarly, we can’t tell from the front if a rider is dropped or gapped at a crossing unless YOU sing it out. Also, be certain to ride no more than two abreast at any time. The daylight hazards aren’t reduced in any way at night. The driver you are considerate to on this ride will not be the road-raged maniac who tries to kill you with their car tomorrow. They may be wrong, but they out mass you by about 3000 pounds.
Night rides will often include side paths along major roads to avoid traffic, like Long Lake last night. This means that we may cross many side roads and driveways when doing so, and DRIVERS DO NOT EXPECT TO SEE CRAZY PEOPLE ON BIKES at night. So what? If you are on the front in such conditions you need to proactively keep it safe by 1) ensuring crossings are safe from cross traffic and turners before proceeding, and 2) taking advantage of lights and crossings to re-compact the group for crossings, even if that means stopping on green. Huh? What? Why? Twenty riders in a compact group are visible and can cross safely. Twenty gapped riders going zoom gap zoom gap zoom gap gap zoom gap gap zoom are more like kewpie dolls in a shooting gallery in such conditions. Yes, I know faster is often more funnerer, but getting smooshed by a car is no fun at all, so think it through when you are leading. Group rides bring responsibility to the group.
If you are pulling too hard to make those decisions rationally on behalf of the group behind you, then please back it the +*^¥£€! down until you can do so. I am very pleased that we have now gone two years in a row without a paramedic run on a Beverly Ride, a few years prior we had FOUR of them in one season. Loading a friend into an ambulance can really harsh the mellow of a good ride, and avoiding doing that again is one of my primary goals. There is some method to the madness, and nearly every decision ride leaders make is driven by a desire for a safe ride. If you ever wonder why a call was made, don’t hesitate to ask the safety driven logic behind it.
Beyond that, it was nice to see the large turnout last night and I hope everyone enjoyed the ride. This is probably one of the last years that I will be leading these rides before I hand it off, so if you are interested in becoming a ride leader while maintaining the character of the ride, now is a good time to start paying attention.
September 29, 2016
… other day that I posted in error. But Sunday has a better forecast anyhow, so that’s a good thing.
September 29, 2016
I can’t ride anywhere SUNDAY myself due to other obligations, but if I could it would be at the http://www.exhaleride.com/ . This is a dirt road ride from Metamora, on a beautiful rolling route in horse country. The weather doesn’t look great, but I’ve done it between rain showers some other years and found the roads stayed OK and didn’t get too muddy to ride. As a Type 1 diabetic myself, this ride supports research on diabetes which is one of the great killers of our times, so this is for a good cause even if you want to donate without riding.
Sunday looks like the next ride in any case.