Friday, August 24, 2012

Clubbin' MTB STYLE

It's funny how things are the same in each cycling discipline but it seems the only variations are abilities or sense of abilities (maybe lack of too). I troddled out to the local MTB club's group ride Wednesday figuring it would be a modest ride and my training plan had a modest workout planned by Coach Casey. I was hoping I would get to see a few peeps I haven't seen in a while as well but didn't. There were alot of new faces I had not met and other than saying hello in the parking lot we're still strangers because no one introduced themselves, I tried twice. We broke into groups and someone informed all of us the route plan which, to me, seemed like they were biting off more than they could chew in the 2.5 short hours we had before the park closed. Our group takes off and immediately hammers (I use this term loosely)(this reminds me of my cross racing with no warm-ups, lol) I think that the presence of a visiting out-of-town rider from Nashville had a few peeps un-used testosterone glands awake and pumping - none the less it was short lived to our first regroup before reaching the 2 mile mark (roll eyes here). The group split at this junction after they saw how the leaders rolled out of the parking lot, I continued with the first group sitting mid pack and spectating. The next mile they hammered best they could, a couple crashed hard and they finally popped a vein or came to their senses then slowed to a chill pace to let everyone close ranks. Another re-group, wasted time we could have been riding, then we start climbing. ANOTHER re-group at the top of this short climb wasting valuable riding time again had me asking myself "why did I bother?" Then the ride leader gets a text from wifey from the parking lot and tells the group he's headed straight back to the vehicles, pretty much a slefish move in my opinion. INsert many married ball and chain jokes here. I followed the group so it's my fault too but at this point we only had less than 50 minutes to get out of the park, le sigh. 2.5 hrs for 11.87 miles, gah!!! Lesson learned. Gabbing is for the place you get beers after the ride..... the woods? They're for riding, socialize AFTER the ride. Thomas said it best a few years ago.

This grundled story leads me into my point. It seems most clubs are the same whether it be road or mountain. In the end it seems to be cliq'ish. There are peeps that do all the work and ones that just wanna hang out. There's groups that ride race pace, there's groups that turtle along, there's groups that stop and look at the wildlife... I could go on and on. You'll NEVER find a group of people that all get along! Someone rides too fast, or they ride too slow, or they don't ride far enough (me), or they're not in shape, etc, etc. This is one of the two reasons I've ridden many solo miles this year (the other is Casey's training program). I'm included in this rant too, so don't get all huffy and up in my grill my readers. I've been real hard on our local club this last year I can honestly say. I don't regret it but any idea I've had in the last year concerning betterment of the club has been shot down faster than a stinger missile from an F-16. Many years ago it used to be mostly endurance racing oriented now it's mostly work on trails in the winter then lets go ride any place there's beer involved, yes from what I've witnessed and read on their forums beer seems to be their holy grail. It's hard to have balance in any club but for any growth there has to be willingness for it to happen. There are 4 types of mountain bikers in a club as far as I can tell; 1) racers 2) weekend warriors 3) family 4) outdoorsy, naturalist types. A good club should have all four bases covered and someone managing each group. I'm sure there are families that don't want their families around beer drinking and swearing all the time but then we folks should be allowed to drink curse and swear all we like too. I guess I just needed a reality shot in the arm. I've poured all my time and efforts into collegiate cycling in our area over the last 3 years but in 2 short years I will be finished and looking to put my resources and time into something else. I would like to be a part of mountain biking around here locally but I feel like it would take the effort of 'parting the Nile' and if something takes that much effort it makes one ask is it really worth it?

On a bike related note;

 The new Jet 9 carbon was released recently. Well, not really. They just slapped Jet 9 stickers on the RDO model after working the bugs out of the first RDO is all. So far I'm still no fan of full squish 29 bikes. I haven't ridden one I feel comfortable on is all. When I do.... I may change my mind, so far... NOPE! It's just too much bike and did I mention the weight? I wouldn't wanna ride a 40+ mile ride on one of those hogs. Now mind you.... BMC is bringing that four stroke 29 out very soon that has a claimed weight of 22.8 lbs........ That's amazing! That will be lighter than what most folks ride now as a 29 carbon hardtail !

Well after several rides and 100 miles on the new Niner Air 9 Carbon I can say I'm pleased with it. It handles like the Niner EMD I recently had and on top of that it was the best handling 29r bike I've ridden so far and I've ridden a many. (yes the BMC 29 didn't agree with me) I think that upgrading to a wider bar, that I hear many riders liking, may have put me somewhat off balance though. I don't like wide bars! I went from a 600mm on the 26's. Then to a 620mm on the 29's. I bumped it up to 670mm on this last set.... yuk! I think I'll cut them down to 640mm and give that a try, ya know.... sorta like a happy medium.

Well that's about all for this post. Loading moto-van and heading to UGA for the first race of the 2012 collegiate season this afternoon. Driving through Asheville at 5 should be interesting...

LAter G..................................

No comments: