Thursday, August 25, 2011

Riding Skinny Tires

My roadie/commuter is ~20lbs of steely goodness.
So, a few weeks ago, my buddy Jeremy mentions a road ride out of a church here in Fuquay Varina on Monday nights.  Even though I had a big ride that Saturday (62 miles), I thought it might make for a nice recovery ride (and I have heard how road miles are good for endurance racing), so I joined in.  Naturally I was the only rider on a SS, and only Jeremy and I were were riding steel framed bikes.  I was thinking, "Man, these riders need to HTFU!" (o.k., not really, they were all very nice...and they were roadies, go figure!).  I was told by the organizer I should start with the 'C' group because of some of the big hills.  Surely this is because I am on a single-speed, I mentioned I don't really road ride, and honestly, I do not look that impressive.  I did my best to act like I was hurt by scrunching up my face like a just stubbed my toe.  I said, ooh, 'C' group?  Uh, I think I will at least start with 'B' group.  The B group was broken into two, so I took off with the first group for what was to be a ~24 mile ride.
I must admit, being that this was my first real road ride (other than commuting to work and back), the ride was pretty tough.  I was able to maintain a good cadence that kept me between 19-23 mph and I ended up leading for most of the ride.  Because it would hurt to slow on the hills, I powered up each one with everything I had, only to find that I had left everyone behind and then had to wait for them.  A couple of riders were having a tough time keeping up, causing us to slow and wait.  Eventually, we could see the 2nd 'B' group coming up behind us.  I hope I did not sound like too much of a jerk when the two started to fall behind again and I was told we should wait for them...I replied, that they should just fall back to the 2nd group so we can ride on.  Eventually we powered our way back to the church and finished the ride at an average of ~17.9.  Definitely could have pushed harder, but then I also had plenty of rest time, so who knows.  Maybe next time I try 'A' group, but I have a feeling that (as usual), I have no group, and will hopelessly by lost in some void between 'B' and 'A'.  Maybe I can make a B+/A- group for others like me.  Well, next time I will likely try the 'A' group, but they did average over 20mph.  Oh well, you don't know until you try.  At least I would be able to start the 'A' group ride with my steel framed brotha Jeremy. (until they drop me like a bad habit).
Lookin' forward to it. 


  1. You looked fresh rolling in ahead of all the geared riders. Come on up to A Group since you will have no problem keeping up.

  2. If you like road riding, you should come out to the Inside Out Sports rides on Tuesdays. The B group averages around 21, C 17-19.

    -David Hallen (The junior from the Umstead rides back last winter)

  3. Hey David (know exactly who you are, crazy Umstead classic roadbike dude). Yikes, looks like I would be struggling to keep up with the 'B' group in those rides. Could definitely hang with 'C' though. Might have to try gears one ride to see if that helps me go faster (or slower). :)

  4. Hey James, what gearing did you have on the SS road bike out here? Thinking I may try to pull a "Haskins" sometime soon on the hipster flip flop bike just to change it up a bit.

  5. Hey Matt, good to hear from you. I was just talking about you today with Kelly. Ya know, I never realized how much that road bike kept me in shape (commuting 14-22 miles 3x weekly), as now it is tough keeping in shape out here in Cali without any commute (subbing occasionally and driving the kids to and from school every day).
    I rode that IRO Mark V (good, cheap frame) with a 48:17. I also picked up an 18 to make things easier, but never mounted it, even for rides up to 50 miles (around the Angier, Fuquay, Holly Springs Apex, Cary, Harris Lake areas).

    Anything close to that ratio would be a good for 18-23 on flats and grinding on the hills. Hope all is well with you. I certainly miss our HTFU rides as I try to get involved in the riding climate out here.
    Take care,

  6. Thanks James. I hope it was all good ;)

    700 or 650 tires? 48:17 is quite stout, but it's what you need to avg 23mph I guess. I think I'll be closer to ~70 GI and avg in the 16-19 range.

    You are certainly missed on the HTFU rides, nobody has that winning personality, although Mark is great in his own way ;) You are starting to become a legend with the new guys. Conversations generally start like: "Did you ever ride with James? -James who? -That's a no, you'd remember that guy. Let me tell you about the time..."

    Hope you feel better soon,