Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who WON'T you ride with?

I invited a bunch of friends/athletes for a bike ride starting at my house last Saturday. The plan was to do a similar ride that we did the previous week which was about 35 mostly hilly miles. There was going to be four of us but when I was pumping up my tires I saw someone I knew (henceforth known as Steverino) but didn't invite unloading his bike in front of my house. I didn't mind since I've ridden with Steverino before and KK came up to me saying that she invited him. I know Steverino is a strong rider. His forte is what I consider relatively odd events - he has done the Mt Washington race in the past and is currently training for the Harpoon Brewery to Brewery ride. An aside, this one day event is on my bucket list. It is described on the website as "The Harpoon Brewery to Brewery Ride is one tough ride. By design, it is not for everyone. This ride is for cyclists who enjoy great beer, are physically and mentally tough, take pleasure in the fellowship of others, don’t whine, excel in the face of challenges, play by the rules, and can ride 148 miles to the finish safely and without their hands being held." This doesn't even mention the world class after race party at the brewery.

But back to the ride and the cast of characters. Even more of a reason why Steverino was welcomed was because of the type of person that he is not. He is not a person who I won't train with. In fact, he is someone that I like to train with and I've ridden with him while training for various charity types of events. That got us discussing on the ride (between climbs) what type of person would we not want to ride with. Given the choice we would not invite these people to an invited ride. Yes, sometimes you don't have a choice of the invitees when the ride is organized not by you. The only choice you really have in a "show and go" is to show or not to show and if you show to go or not to go. Given these limits and some literary freedom in my summarizing, we came up with the following initial rule set:
  • Annoying people in real life are annoying while riding. There are so many types of annoying that could fit in this category that I would never finish this opus so I'll leave it at a high level now. Let them be annoying to others elsewhere.
  • People who don't ride safely. This needs to be observed first hand.
  • People who whine. There are parts of a ride where whining is allowed but these parts normally correspond to when the effort turns talking into grunting. Or turns grunting into gasping for breath.
  • People who repeatedly aren't prepared.
  • People who ride too slow or too fast given goal of the race. When someone wants to hammer and others want a recovery ride, conflict arises. The key is setting the goal of the ride properly. When it is set properly and people don't follow the goals is when problems happen. I, unfortunately, am riding slow these days (especially on the hills) so I need to do some work to stay on the invite list to my own rides.
I'm sure there are more rules that I am missing. This list is not all encompassing and I expect additions over time. But what do you do with this rule set? You put people on the permanently invited or the permanently uninvited to ride list. Steverino is on the invite list. Others who will go nameless were designated on the uninvited list.


Unknown said...

I am so glad I am on your "ride with list" and that our "will not ride with" list is quite similar!

Diane said...

Let's just say that I have a friend who repeatedly showed up last year without tubes/pump/cartridges. And she repeatedly had flats. We nearly ended up dropping her from the invite list since she was always costing us tubes and time. After a few meltdowns she finally got it together and started coming fully prepared.

I don't know if you'd want to ride with me since my friends and I take great delight in seeing who can whine the loudest on really hard climbs. And we have a tendency to sing after mile 80 or so to take our minds off of our suffering.

Still, in spite of my shortcomings, I'd love to ride with you someday!

joyRuN said...

I wouldn't ride with myself ;)

It's why smaller group rides scare me - it's more likely to have the issue of different goals come to a head. Riders coalesce into smaller packs when it's a bigger ride, so it's not as much of an issue.

Then again, I've had my toughest yet most gratifying ride when there were only 4 of us on the ride.

Unknown said...

Group of 10 one guy says he is going to do 30min wu, then 15minutes of zone5 x4, 10min recovery and then repeat 15min of zone5. I'd usually be cool with this if we weren't doing 100+mi in the hills. Told him I'd see him back at the parking lot in 5hrs! I hung on for the first interval just to see what this guy (on a Shiv, BTW, first one I've seen in person)did for Zone5 - 32mph, pushing 340watts -- it hurt!

Usually I am cool with whatever and if it screws up my day (like unprepared person does) I will just continue on without them, no skin off my back!

Al's CL Reviews said...

I'm beginning to think I'm polite...since I'm a newb to bike riding, I state my pace, and ask if that is too slow. The organizers, luckily always are nicely truthful that yes...too slow. No skin on my nose and no one is annoyed by me.

Shelly said...

Maybe this is a variation of the too slow or too fast, rule, but I don't like to ride with people who want to ride with you because they know they are faster than you and don't want to get hammered by riding with a faster group.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

This is a good post, there is people I dont care to ride with and alot of people that I will never ride with. You get someone on a bike and their ego inflates uncontrollably, I dont like it and it can ruin a ride.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I don't ride, but I run. No one's invited. I always run alone. In races, I don't socialize. I am not a very nice person and basically I am saving others from the burden of my company.

I would invite Luis Castillo and Wilson Valdez. I don't know how the former will work out for us, but I thank your Mets for giving us the latter.

Sue Sitki said...

LOL! I recognized many 'friends' in your 'Won't Ride With' list!

As for me, I'm not super fast (yet... but then, hope springs eternal) and I can't keep up with any of the riders on the group rides I hear about so I mostly opt to go out on my own for my long rides.

Being an only child, training alone isn't all that foreign to me. Plus, it's just like race day! LOL - I'm usually left out there by myself as I putt-putt along... ;)

I find it easier when I'm alone, to take my nature breaks as required and am free to mutter aloud to myself (sometimes encouragement and sometimes criticism...) as I find the going getting tough... many people don't understand the whole talking to yourself out loud thing... ;)

Georgia Snail said...

I've uninvited L. Castillo & O. Perez...the clubhouse is grateful!

Heather said...

I have uninvited no one. Nor have I ever ridden with anyone. I have done every ride alone for the last three years.
I am afraid I would be either too annoying, or too slow for a group.

Unknown said...

I think ego plays into it a lot. It also covers a lot of your other criteria. Somebody that thinks their needs are more important then the rest of the group.