We could learn a lesson or two from the Pro Peloton (and yes, we did ride yesterday, lots of us)

As I prepare for France I’m running out of time trying to get everything running right at the shop; July is an insanely-busy month for bike shops, which is cutting down on the time I need to spend getting everything prepared for the various sales scheduled and leaving me not-enough-time to sleep. Not that I need that much anyway, or that it’s very easy to sleep when it’s so darned hot!

Back to the ride. Gorgeous morning, but since we’re spoiled rotten by weather that’s never too bad, I’ll complain that it was a tad bit warm climbing the hill. It was one of those odd mornings where I couldn’t quite get a handle on how fast I was going; I felt like I had nothing in my legs but the timing points didn’t seem so bad, so I’m left with thinking 27:30 up Kings on a day I’m not feeling so great is a good sign.

What made the ride strange, dangerously-so, was how slow/lazy we got when we had the chance. Up on Skyline we just pedaled along at a pace that even I found effortless, and that’s a problem with a large group (10+) because you tend to bunch up and overlap wheels and things just don’t seem very smooth. You need speed to string things out and keep your attention up.┬áIt sharpens your thinking and the natural reflexes that would cause too much change in speed and direction at slow speed are muted over distance.

Pretty much the instant I heard the two riders behind me hit the deck. We're simply going too slow and too close up the hill.
Pretty much the instant I heard the two riders behind me hit the deck. We’re simply going too slow and too close up the gentle rise after climbing West Old LaHonda.

The unchallenging pace (I’m liking the sound of that better than “slow”) caught up with us after climbing back onto Skyline from West Old LaHonda, when someone in the middle of the group did something, maybe swerved for a pothole, not sure, and the reactions ricocheted backward, magnifying along the way, until Andrew, at the end, found himself clipping the wheel of the guy in front, with both falling to the pavement. No damage, since the speed was so slow and I think they both ended up falling on the non-drive-side of their bikes, but a very real reminder that we need to do better, we need to work on group dynamics and make sure we’re riding as safely as possible.

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