Monday Night Ride

Have I mentioned lately how much I like riding Yellow Bike?

I rode with the Monday Night Small Ring Ride tonight on several roads I’ve ridden before, but on Bike. Heading out, it was hard for me to stay behind the group. I had to coast a lot. It was weird. Everyone else is pedaling along, and I’m coasting.

We did a few laps of the loop in the “lower park” section of Seneca Park. At the end of March, I couldn’t keep up with the group on Bike. On Yellow Bike, it was sort of ho-hum nice recovery ride. One girl asked me if I race.

“Not even in my dreams,” I replied.

Seana had me lead the group across the river on the “sewer bridge”, then north on Lake Ave to the cemetery. Unfortunately, the cemetery closes at 7:00, and we got there at 6:55. I felt a little lame suggesting it—since everyone was a roadie—but no-one in the group had ridden the north section of the Riverway trail before, down through Turning Point Park, out on the bridge across the river basin and into Charlotte.

Then we crossed the river on the new O’Rorke Bridge, which, come to find out, even has bike lanes. How progressive is that?

From the bridge, Pattonwood Drive takes us to St. Paul Blvd, where we turned south for what I’ve described before as a relentlessly long grind back into the city.

Except this time it wasn’t.

I just rode along with the group, amazed every time I looked down to see we were going 16, 18 or faster. On Bike the last time I rode St. Paul into the city, 11.5 took a lot of work.

Arriving home, I felt like I could do the same ride all over again—after a bit of refueling. Everything just feels so easy on Yellow Bike.

By the way, everybody likes Yellow Bike. Wherever I show up for a ride, or even with non-cyclists, without exception , people tell me they like Yellow Bike. Maybe it’s the colors, or maybe its the classic lines of traditional geometry. Maybe it’s just the yellow and blue “splash” bar tape. Who knows? Whatever it is, everywhere we go, people like Yellow Bike.

What’s more, they like the story too. It inspires enormous amounts of jealousy when I tell other cyclists I picked it up for $100 on Craigslist. They don’t seem to care that it’s Trek’s bottom-of-the-line road bike, or that it’s seven years old and had to be totally rehabbed. That just seems to make the story all that much better.

Tonight a kid on a late 80s Giant—his father’s old racing bike—just kept eyeing Yellow Bike like he was going to grab it out from under me. Earlier a guy on a Campy equipped Salsa hung on my every word as I told Yellow Bike’s story. I’m fairly certain he’s going to hang out on Craigslist looking for another deal like the one I got on Yellow Bike.

Riding with the group, other than a slightly noisy front dérailleur that I have to adjust, Yellow Bike fits right in with other bikes. Tonight we rode with bikes that were mainly in the $1,500 to $2,000 range, and all my (rear) shifts were as smooth, positive and quiet as theirs. Same with the brakes.

Tour de Tract Homes

I rode with ‘Tude again on Sunday. This time we did the ride she wanted to do a week ago. Page two of the club’s map 230 is the “Goo-Goo” variation of the weekly Show-and-Go ride. It starts in Ellison Park on the west side of the Irondequoit Creek gorge, descends 250 feet into the gorge then climbs back out the other side. This is in the first couple of miles.

Then after another climb, it levels out and meanders through a two mile square section of the Town of Webster. It’s all housing tracts. Relentlessly boring tract homes. Upscale, to be sure, but tract homes nonetheless. The most exciting part of the ride was when I missed a turn and ended up in a cul-de-sac. Oooo. No, maybe the most exciting part was chasing a little girl’s runaway ball down the street. And me without my bike polo mallet.

Fifteen hypnotic miles later, it descends back into Ellison Park, and climbs back out on a different, much nicer route. I’ll use the hills for training again sometime, but the rest? You can have it. Fortunately, I’m working on the day ‘Tude leads her ride, so I won’t have to repeat the tedium.

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