Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wednesday ride report

We are going to have a photo shoot every week if that is the turnout we get! Unfortunately, Tony Tillman arrived just a few seconds late, so he did not get in the picture. Bummer, since he makes the SMU kit look really sharp. We met a couple of new students who want to start racing, so we are getting the start of a team. Travis Mossy was one of the new students, and Nicky (fill in blank) from Engineering and the B-School. We even had a student on a fixie and a Discovery jersey, and I was so inundated with new faces I don't remember his name, but we will get it and let you know.

We were all a bit shocked at the great turnout, and pleased. Samuel even showed up to get in the picture (and promptly left, Wednesday is his off day.) Unlike Olympic swimmers, he did not chop off his mane to make himself more aero at Nationals. I think Rob commented on his Merckx era glasses from the picture I posted earlier. I brought a couple of spare jerseys so that we could really display our colors.

Beth Newman brought her husband, Bruce Levy out for his first ride with us. I didn't even get to say hello, with all the activity swirling around. I didn't even notice that she was in the group until we were riding. I was so used to seeing her in a "Team in Training" jersey, it threw me off to finally see her in SMU's colors. Not knowing what jersey Bruce usually wears, he fit right in.

We also welcomed Paul Escamilla, who rode with us for the first time. He is new to SMU, and is a welcome addition to the Perkins School. I hear he has an 8th grader who he rides tandem with. That alone is quite an accomplishment. He is also the author of the book "Longing for Enough in a Culture of More"

Kevin makes it to all the Wednesday rides, yet I was only able to say a few words all day to him. So many people to navigate through, and I always want to shepherd the students through the first ride. The guy on the single speed had some issues with his chain, Dallas roads caused it to pop off a few times, but to his credit he would reattach and get right back in the group. It must have been contagious, because I dropped a chain just as we got to the lake, so I wasn't going to be a player in the sprint. Caryn won it, but Rob was there, he just felt a little guilty he had to have a lane violation to get in position to win it.

Next we had a sloppy transition to Northwest Highway. You have to go from the right lane across three lanes to the left to be in the correct lane, and this guy in an Acura comes up on us a bit fast. I sprint up to his car to let him know he was travelling too fast. He argued that we were all over the road. Yes, but he still went too fast. He also claimed to be a cyclist, but his behaviour showed he was more a motorized vehicularist than a cyclist! He was also a Longhorn. Even though I spent some of my best years at UT, I'm starting to lump them in with the paper clips (OU) and the "I'll graduate with all D's" (LSU) in my list of least popular fans to run into. Our argument was primarily him saying "Dude" and I mocked his use of "Dudes" as a device to use in the discourse. We seem to have a run-in with a motorist every 4 or 5 rides.

The new guy, Travis responded quite well to my acceleration on the climb to Flagpole Hill and so did Nicky (like get to the top before me.) The student who rode the single speed had dropped his chain again, but finished the climb with the rest. Michael and Suzanne were doing a great job hanging back to ensure we all stuck together, except Mike and I were so overwhelmed with new faces, we lost Bruce, George and Rob! It took Beth a while to realize Bruce was lost. He is a strong rider but where did he go? We still are confused about that.

Michael did his best to keep us together, as did Noah. Go to "other sports" since Noah put our picture out for all the Mustang Nation to see, plus the note to "call Scot for jerseys" I might have to ask him to help coordinate uniform sales! He is another student who is always here on the rides and if he had more time we're sure he would do a great job racing.

We survived Kevin's usual attack and then Michael told me to regroup at the 7-11, however the lure of Loving caused me to block that message out of my consciousness. I wanted to see what the new guys had and they didn't disappoint. My experience carried the day, but more than getting to the top first, my favorite moment was when Michael asked about the hill work, fully expecting me to acknowledge that Travis and Nicky beat me to the top. He was crestfallen to discover I had tricked them and wouldn't have to admit defeat (at least not this week!)

As we left the water fountain by the Boat House, we ran into another former Mustang who has been searching in vain for an SMU jersey. People, just google SMU Cycling (or TCU Cycling) and we pop up. After Tony and I tell him to look on the web site, it was just a few seconds before Tony's back tire chooses to go from 120 psi to 25 psi. After repairing it, we ride back to SMU in the dark. We even ride past Tony's house, but he has to go to SMU to get his car (he left it at school to get in the picture he didn't get in.)

Caryn pedalled at walking speed for an interminable time thinking we were going to catch up. She was in the dark blue skin suit, which at night is more stealthy than the F117's she used to work on (no, she worked on F15's and F16's)

She rode back slowly, but beat us by two minutes. Michael was very kind to stay in his office for a few minutes to make sure we got back. What an adventure! I have no idea who won the sprint at the city limit sign. Did Kevin or Michael clue anyone else about it to ensure victory?

1 comment:

Rob W. said...

I do think we have to work at our regrouping procedures. Bruce was dropped but soldiered on alone in uncharted territory, lucky to happen upon George and myself at Walnut Hill. George was nursing a charleyhorse after Flagpole Hill, and I rode with him as an escort until he worked it out, but y'all were up the road and gone by the time we were able to lay down some mph.

We should probably identify some points on the course for automatic regroup.

I would suggest:
(1) Mockingbird (after the sprint), ride together until we pass Northwest Highway.

(2) Walnut Hill after the Flagpole climb(s).

(3) Northwest Highway and Easton.

(4) Buckner before we enter the lake, and

(5) the 7-Eleven. Those riders wishing to skip the loving hills (heresy) can ride to the third hill and meet up there for the ride back to campus.

Perhaps we should designate a sweeper on each ride.

It's no fun riding alone. Let's try to keep the ride together. If they ever take the cones out of the park, we can go back to riding "up and backs" and that would also eliminate dropping folks, cause you pick them up on the return.