Last Thursday's ride was a good one with: New Guy Dave, Jeff F, Jerry, Dave S, Don G, Kim T, Scott W, and the Shadow rolling up about 33 miles of dirt road goodness.
Last week's riding was sweet. The roads were good and fast, there were some nice intervals but not a hammer fast, the riding was safe, no big gaps, no half-wheeling, nobody got dropped. It was good times as Gunter Vogler says. The Crazy Bastard rides have been up and rolling for well over a month now, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, far earlier than I've ever seen before, which leads me to believe that August is the new September.
Since the Crazy Bastard rides have launched so early this year people ask me, "hey dummy, don't you usually do these these stupid rides in the fall?" My answer goes something like this ... "there are a number of reasons for people switching over to gravel riding so early, and if you didn't Google the reasons why, here are mine ... dumbass."
Road Racing hurts. If you don't believe me watch this video above and tell me if you haven't seen this before. Yeah crits and road races can be dangerous, especially if you or the person you're racing again doesn't know what the f&@k they're doing. I love road racing, but frankly I'm getting too old to get busted up that bad and do all that nasty rehab shit. The sound of popping tires, snapping carbon and the accompanying screams are starting to get to me. I'm just getting old ...
Anybody that thinks Mountain Biking is any safer needs to just look out for that next tree around one of the million-and-half redundant turns featured on our local trails. I have color photographs for future publication of Shawn Davison and Jeff "Slayer" Haney that prove that the human rib is not mightier than the tree.
Riding on the road is also getting pretty damn dangerous. Well it was anyway. I believe this is Katie Hamel's wheel after she was run down by a hit and run driver on her way to the Monday Night Time Trial ...
The driver also adjusted Katie's seat, unless that's one of those new Specialized seats that "moves" with you as you pedal ...
Oh yeah, the car is mightier than the carbon bicycle ... that's also a nice derailleur adjustment.
A driver also made some modifications to Steve Bartzen's bike this summer while riding on the road. I believe that was a mountain bike, but I'm not sure, but if it is he should have been out trying to dodge trees with it, not cars. I also notice the shadow is there taking photos again.
So it's my assumption that people like these people above, milling around and fussing with their Garmens and Stravas, are switching from the road, and maybe even the trail (hey you can't ride when it's wet can you?!) for the relative safety of gravel roads where the traffic is lighter and slower and there aren't any trees in the road to hit. Okay Craig hit a tree. And there are deer. And those nasty Sand Hill Cranes that can peck your eyes out. And Swans that will bite you. And Killer Chihauhaus (I wish) and about a billion dumb bunnies that don't do anything dangerous ... oh yeah and the chicken that almost took Craig down ...
Since we are cyclists we can't let anything appear to be too easy or safe so we add some hardman drama to the dirt road riding scene to make it seem like we are living on the edge of crashing or puking our guts out from over the top efforts, like the rest of the cycling world does everyday. A good example is the whole Belgian-The F*ck up brand that's pretty much focused on cross, dirt road riding, and Classics wanna-bees. It tells the world that even though you're scared of road racing, riding on the road, and your ribcage has an allergy to pine trees, you're still a tough guy or gal. So Belgy the F*ck up, okay?
If you don't believe me that we're infected with the Belgian The F*ck Up theme all you had to do was look around the parking lot before the ride last Thursday .. or any other day there's a ride.
Solid yellow not tough enough and make you look chicken? Then add a bit of some baby blue to your Manly Belgy kit like Big Mac does.
I refuse to pretend the life of danger with Belgy socks or kit. I have a whole new game. To make sure that I am safe, yet appearing to live the life of "danger" on tonight's ride I'm going to ride this sturdy bike and Kevlar suit - yet I am going to change my name from Surly Bastard to "CARLOS DANGER" just ot make myself look way-badass. What do you think? Maybe I'll lose the lapel pin though, don't want stick myself - but I'll be at Townsend tonight for a roll-out at 6:30.