I have heard of this ride ever since I moved to Lawrenceville in ’08 and I have wanted to do this ride but Mondays were too much of a challenge…until tonight.
This 18 miler attracts 50+ riders every week and I am learning it’s very popular. The terrain if rolling/flat with a couple of short momentum-killers. I was being open-minded about how that many cyclists would ride together; I was pleasantly surprised of as much organization that was going on…meaning riding 2 abreast quite a bit and even a rolling pace line towards the middle of the ride. That was refreshing to experience as it is not that common.
One small constructive criticism on the rolling pace line, which applies to any pace line. There was one guy who was pulling quite a while in some serious headwind. Once he pulled out to the left, the guy behind him exploded….and so did everyone else. What’s wrong with that, you ask? It’s like a slap in the face, so to speak. You are the guys behind the leader, taking advantage of the leader’s effort to create the draft and take the brunt of the headwind. Out of respect, when that leader pulls out, it’s the responsibility of the guy behind him (the new leader) to keep the same pace as when the original leader pulled out. You are to give him the opportunity to work back into the group and allow him to recover from a hard pull. Not doing so is like saying…Hey dude, thanks for kicking your butt; I’ve got fresher legs (because of you) so I’m going to kick up the pace…which, in almost all cases, causes the original leader to get dropped from the pack. That’s the thanks he gets for working SO hard up front.
With that said, I only saw this scenario only once, and for this many riders participating in the rolling paceline, was very nice to see. Way to go everyone. I really liked how we all worked together. The attitude and ‘feel’ of the ride was relaxed; I didn’t get the feeling of a testosterone war going on, even thought there were many strong riders.
I would recommend this ride and think you will enjoy the experience. Yes, there are fast parts but overall, the reputation of this ride is a good one. Enjoy the shots here but video is only on my website.
See ya on the road…