Friday, April 2, 2010

Shop Ride Review

Despite the looming bad weather, 19 hearty souls appeared for the 2010's first Shop Ride from Two Wheel Transit. We really should credit the ride with 20, but I will get to that in a moment.

As previously reported, the first shop ride of the year was set for 5.30 pm on April 1. Let me repeat a couple of important points there: "5.30", "pm", "April", "1". Even though it is in the past, it is still important for our story.

So, as I said, there were 19 (or possibly 20) people who showed up for the shop ride. All three members of Team Two Wheel were in attendance, one of the owners of Two Wheel (Geoff), a couple of GU cycling team members (one of them 2nd in last week's Bellingham race - didn't catch K.C.'s finish), a couple of Baddlands riders and that left the majority as guys (sorry, no ladies on this trip - they may have been more mindful of the bad weather) who like to ride.

It was a good and compatible group, but I think that there were really two stand-out heroes of the day. The first shall be known as "D". D did a couple of triathlons last year with a 12-mile bike portion. He is interested in improving his cycling speed and fitness and thought that a group ride would be a good way to do that. He is relatively new to town and also wanted to meet some more riders and learn a bit about the routes around here. I think that part all went well, but a combination of a prior work-out that day, a rubbing brake pad that wasn't detected and fixed until late in the ride, and a more vigorous pace and distance than he was used to and D found himself struggling whenever the route headed upwards.

Now, every cyclist knows what this feels like. There really is a special kind of misery that goes with that sinking feeling as your legs and lungs refuse to cooperate as a group of riders seems to effortlessly ride away up a hill (I expect to have that feeling this weekend at Frozen Flatlands at Williams Lake!), but I also think that it takes a special reservoir of courage to keep with it and keep trying no matter how fruitless it appears. And that, my friends, is exactly what D did. No whining, no complaining; just kept riding the best he could and giving it what he had. He kept a good attitude and finished the ride.

His reward was pizza waiting for us at Two Wheel Transit. The benefit to having Geoff along, besides his pace setting and breaking wind, wait, I mean, anyway, at the end of the ride Geoff had arranged to have some pizzas delivered to the shop so that everyone who wanted was welcome to come in and have a bit of refreshment and hang around for a few minutes. It was a nice way to end a cool, but not wet, first shop ride of the year.

Now, about our mysterious 20th rider. This rider is a well-known, well-liked, fit and fast cyclist. He has a respected profession and, in fact, I recently saw him in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine in a "Best of" story. In light of the cycling and community stature of this individual, I don't want to embarrass him, so I will simply refer to him as Dr. SJ. So, why, you ask, does Dr. SJ get to be a counted/not-counted member of the ride and how, you ask further, does that make him a hero of the ride? Well, my friends, Dr. SJ showed up for the shop ride on April 1st, at 5.30. Unfortunately for both him and us, it was 5.30 AM and not PM.

We should let that sink in for a moment.

For those of you around Spokane, you know that it was dang cold at 5.30 am yesterday. You also know that it was dang dark at 5.30 am yesterday. You also know that not one other sane person was on the street, much less on a bicycle, at 5.30 am yesterday. Nonetheless, Dr. SJ heeded the call for a ride and showed up at what he thought was the correct time. I'm not sure how he thought pizza fit in for the 6.30-7.00 am finish time, but you can't let little inconsistencies get in the way of a man's desire to ride his bike in a group.

So, to a ride hero who kept riding when he felt like stopping, and to a ride hero who went riding when no one else was looking, we salute you and thank everyone who showed up for the ride.

We will be having shop rides on the first Thursday of the month for the next several months, so put it on your calendar for Thursday, May 6 at 5.30 PM (please note the correct half of the day!).

See you at Frozen Flatlands this weekend!

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