Thursday, September 29, 2011

Attitude Adjustment...

It was a big night for the P-ride in many ways Wednesday night. First off, we had a big turnout...almost too big. Second we had some big guns show, which meant the pace was going to be ugly. Third, we had a few mechanical's and a big late start.
I knew things were going to be out-of-the-ordinary when peeps were arriving for the ride a half hour early. First things first peeps; I am never on time and when I say 8:30ish it means be at my place at no earlier than 8:30 to get ready to ride. If you show up early and get all antsy in your pantsy's sorry for you, but I'm not leaving w/o the whole crew. Secondly, don't be late. I'm not gonna leave you, but I am the one who gets the heat for it. Third, this is a group ride. Say it with me..."Group Ride". That means you wait for the group and make sure no one is lost in the woods. With that said, here is what went down during our epic ride.
We had a huge turnout. The P-ride is more typically a half dozen or so close bros having a good night ride. Recently I've been allowing folks to invite friends and I too have opened up the invite to those who are up for some shenanigans. This week there were fifteen people for the ride. I think half of those people showed up around 8 and the rest casually arrived up until the minute we rolled out, at a very late 'almost 9', when we then anxiously headed out for our dirt addiction. I was honored to have a few new peeps show up that were a pleasure to ride with, namely; Farmer, The Trail A$$hole and Taylor. There were a couple fellas from BikeSource as well as Hector who were rookies to the ride, and were a pleasure to meet. Other's who showed there mugs to rally were Sarah, Justin, The Manimal, Coletrain, Cliff, Nick, Pyro, and Gabriel. Aside form the rookies (only because I don't know them) I knew we had a solid crew that could handle the epic ride planned for the darkness.
The loop is about 20ish miles. I'm guessing that the mix of trial is something like 75% singletrack, 15% gravel and 10% random pavement connectors. Most of the singletrack is mid to advanced level trail and keeps you guessing. A solid loop for sure.
About half way through the ride we, at a faster than usual pace (we should pace off the slowest rider, yet we had some peeps gunning it a bit hard) we lost 4 of the 15. After waiting about 5 minutes, The Manimal, Gabriel and I rode back about a mile and did not see hide nor hair of the 4. The Manimal decides to go on a search, and then too either rendezvous on the planned loop or back at the Pirates Lair. Gabriel and I head back to meet the remaining crew, who were very anxious to keep riding. At this point I was getting a bit frustrated and just led-out and did not stop much, only at intersections to make sure folks went the correct way. By now we had done some 13 miles of good trail. We had one flat and I loaned out my only spare tube to keep the crew moving, though only Justin and I stopped to help. We had one light that was not working great and still the group was fairly motivated to keep rolling.
We hit a paved section and let everyone catch-up before diving back into some dirt. This particular section is fast yet can cause some casualties due to a good amount of large tree roots, rocks, random off-shoots and fallen trees. Coletrain took a good over-the-bars fall at some point along the way. It was a fun spill to watch as he used his cat-like reflexes to catch his carbon bike before it crashed into the rocky earth.
I thought the rear of the crew was keeping watch on each other and I'd ask every ten minutes or so if everyone was accounted for. At some point we in fact lost 2 more riders. WTF people? If I am leading the ride I cannot very well babysit the back, and no one was willing to be the sweep who knew the trail, so things were deteriorating into a fairly good case of the shit-circus. I was not even aware that we'd lost these 2 until we were long gone.
I hate it when we loose people on a group ride. I hate it when people don't enjoy the ride. I hate it when I get back to the campfire and some of the group is missing. NOT COOL! When we were riding back up to my casa at the end of the ride we see three cars leaving, the peeps who had been left behind; that felt like total shit to me. Maybe some of you did not give a rats ass but I was not too psyched about it. It was almost like the walk of shame; for them or for me, either way...not how the P-ride is meant to be, no way.
So all in all, those who finished the ride had a good, long, epic ride. For those who got lost in the woods; I am terribly sorry. That was not cool on my part. That was not cool on any one's part. It was lame and I hope it doesn't detour you from coming again.
I asked the groups opinion about what the ride should be all about and what we needed to do to make it better. I had mixed responses. One thought was to be dick's and make the ride harder, faster and a bit more crazy. If we did that, only a few would come and ride. I've decided against that train of thought. We will NOT be leaving anyone behind. The pace will be notched back to accommodate everyone who rides. The campfire will be surrounded by ALL of the group! The P-ride will continue and get better - it's no weenie roast, nor is it an elitist, leg shaven, sprint of a training ride...
So, a success for some and a failure on my part for others. I guess life is all about living and learning...and I am sometimes a slow learner.
Until next week...Cheers!

Note: Please come prepared for this ride. It is not easy to bail out mid-ride unless you know the area well. Bring the gear you need to fix your bike if it breaks. I am tired of giving out tubes! Make sure your gear is working before you are sitting in front of my house, making other's have to loan you crap or wait on you. Just be prepared, use common sense and know that this is NOT a walk in the park, but an adventure ride that can be hard on you and your gear. Be ready for two hours of pain, fun and socializing around the fire.

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