This morning I led the first 2012 edition of the SBW “Late Riser” ride. A bit of history is in order here. Way back, 10+ years or so, most of the well-known rides in the area were what I call take-no-prisoners rides. Go go go, saw ’em off if you can. In fact, the old South Bay Pro Bikes jersey had the acronym FLG on the collar. As Father Ted might say in his Irish brogue, “Feck ’em Let’s Go.”
For new riders, or those not familiar with riding in groups, these rides could be somewhat intimidating and unfriendly. So, under the auspices of the South Bay Wheelmen club, I started a Saturday morning ride oriented towards those folks looking to gain experience riding in a group, but without the intimidation factor. I scheduled this ride deliberately for 9:30 in the morning because I would go do one of those take-no-prisoners rides that started at 7:00 and get in a good workout, then roll on back to the coffee shop and lead the gentler ride at a slower pace. Before we get too altruistic about this, I must admit to an additional, baser reason for starting the ride – to meet athletic women. So I thought, but the reality is that match dot com works better.
I like to name my rides and asked my friend Libby Aubrey for suggestions. She mashed together “Easy Rider” and rising late (for a 9:30 start) to come up with “Easy Riser”. It stuck and I led this ride pretty much by myself for about 3 years. Later on we managed to put together a crew of ride leaders, but they wanted to change the start time to 9:00 and the ride name to “Late Riser”. The implication being that it’s not necessarily going to be an easy ride, depends on who shows up. And that’s the way it has been since then. The route and pace are up to the ride leader, just take consideration of who shows up for the ride.
It’s been a success by providing an opportunity for less experienced riders to practice pack riding in a friendly and supportive group, and also bringing people into the club. They learn, meet people, and perhaps move on to the burn-rubber rides. I juggle the schedule of the ride leaders, trying to put together a 3-month block at a time. Today was my day to lead, and since it was the first edition for 2012, I took some pictures. Click here to go to the set at Shutterfly.
In the afternoon I went to the indoor velodrome at the Cal State campus in Carson to check out the SBW training session going on. This place is a world-class facility. In fact, the world championships have been held there. It’s a beautiful 250 meter wooden track with terrifying 45 degree banked turns. I can vouch for the fear factor having taken track training there. SBW provides volunteer bodies to work race events at the track, and in exchange the club gets insider opportunities for training.
Coach Tim Roche was running the session with help from Ted Ernst. Click here for the whole set of pictures at Shutterfly.