Pile o’ Roadies – remembering why I mountain bike

So, I came around the corner and thought… that’s an odd place to regroup? Then I noticed the yardsale in the middle of the highway was a gaggle o’ roadies moaning in pain! Aiyeee!!!

A couple of weeks ago I did my first Swami’s ride in San Diego. It was a good hammer fest, and I held on for 10 miles. When I made it the church where people regroup I had to keep rolling as noone was there.

My goal for this week’s ride was to try to hang on longer… and I did! The pace was about the same, but I held on for 13 miles. Then when I did get dropped, I could always see someone not too far ahead and continued my chase. And, when I got to the church, I actually had a minute to recover and refill on water before it started up again. I held on for a little while again, but then found a new talent of mine – getting dropped on a downhill… on the road!

I didn’t think it took talent to hang on a road downhill, evidently it does. I got a little nervous in the tight pack once we hit high speeds, this being my second group ride in over 2 years, and ended up in the wind instead of the draft. After that, the pace picked up more and there was no catching them. The group leveled off, did a small climb, then leveled off again. I was having a hard time catching up and lost sight of them around a corner.

When they came into sight, everyone was stopped and congregated on both sides of the road. There were 6 or 7 riders rolling on the ground (in now swiss cheese spandex) and bikes and bottles laid out in yard-sale fashion. The first thing I could think was… wow, I’m glad I suck at descending in a pack. I hope that my mountain bike skills would help me get out of that mess if I were confronted with it, but you never know what can happen.

A few of the riders were all from one team – the wheels on wheels guys from a shop in SD – and other various riders (I don’t know who any of them are as I’m new to the group.) They all seemed to be allright, but there was an ambulance called. Most of got rolling, as there was no reason for 40 riders to hang out and stare.

I hope the guys are all o.k. – I’m sure we’ll get a report next time.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Eric says:

    When did you guys start coming to San Diego to ride? Wish I would have known….I could have hooked up for some road riding. I went up to Hurkey Creek Sat with some friends and did laps….



  2. Matt says:

    Try the doubles in CA http://www.caltriplecrown.com

    Much, much safer and you’ll be working Zone 4 in the fourth or fifth hour if you catch on the right group. If you go hard early and stay with the hammerheads the training benefit will be much better than risking the stack ups in the less experienced groups.

    But yeah, there is nothing like getting puched by the pack.


  3. Dave Harris says:

    Ouch. Road crashes sure do leave a mark…but it’s been the MTB crashes that sent me to the hospital 😉

    As far as getting dropped on a downhill goes – you are at a decided disadvantage being a super lightweight. On long descents you have to suck wheel to stay with a group – big guys in a tuck at the front will have the pack hurtling down at a speed much faster than you can do outside of the draft. It’s all about physics, not fitness in this case…OK and maybe raw nerve too 🙂

    Looking forward to catching up at Moab!


  4. Brendan says:

    Hey Eric! The irony is that while Mary was riding in SD on Saturday, I was riding in Idyllwild– but not Hurkey Creek.

    Dave– what do you think about a stop-through in St. George the weekend before Interbike? (22nd/23rd) Maybe I can help dial in the new ride for you.. no crashing allowed.


  5. Mary Collier says:

    Sorry Eric, we don’t come down often. I’m just trying to work on my sprinting.

    Matt, the doubles look like fun, but i’m not trying to get in super distance on the road bike. I get that on the mountain bike. And, suprisingly, the Swami’s fast ride are some of the most experienced riders in SoCal from my understanding. I don’t think this happens too often, but when you’re going that fast and one person slips up – aiyeee! I get a good workout with all the sprints, which is why I’m doing these even though I can’t stay with the lead the entire time. I was with them most of the time though.

    Dave, I think you’re onto something there. I usually catch up on the climbs. I’m o.k. with getting dropped occaisionally on the downhills cause i get a better workout trying to catch up…heehee! Have fun at worlds next weekend and wish Lynda luck for me! Hope she’s feeling better.


  6. Eric says:

    Next time you come down e-mail me…we can do some sprinting. maybe some good climbing also.

    Oh..I need some help gettting some of this blog action going for myself.


    Dude…missed you at Temecula. Even though I had a shitty race….I did it on the Siren. Hope we bump into each other soon…lots to get caught up on.

    Don’t be strangers….



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