On Group Riding

I’ve always been a bit antisocial, an oddity as I’ve been accurately characterized as an extrovert (by Meyers-Briggs). The two usually go together well, I like to talk, but only to worthwhile people, and value very highly and do not function well without plenty of time to myself.

This weekend pushed those distinctions in interesting ways. I (still) spend 90% of my riding or running time by myself, both out of necessity (I don’t have too many like-minded and especially scheduled partners in the area) and preference. I thank the internet for introducing me to similarly-“special” folks like Plesko and Mr. Nice, but last weekend still liked riding solo on Sunday.

At the start of riding in Sedona yesterday, we had 46 people lurking around the parking lot in funny clothes. So, I did what I used to do in high school, find the most interesting person I know and talk to them exclusively. So Sam and I talked about tele skiing, and I grabbed onto the first group out of the parking lot, which had 18 people in the peloton. 18 is more manageable, and I had a great time hanging out and bullshitting with brand new friends during breaks for mechanicals. Of which we had many.

Parenthetically, I finally managed to pinch flat a 20 psi Weirwolf in earnest, even though it took excessive speed and a sharp 8″ ledge. That’s when slime tubes suck. My pack looks covered in Llama drool.

Group fun nonwithstanding, I still have more fun with a few, such as after the Bike and Bean party had effectively broken up and Sedona Jeff, Phillip and Adelia (Tscheezy and Barney in MTBRland) and myself were killing the beer and pizza and discussing wilderness. Outdoor sports are more contemplative than others, but even so does not seem terribly prone to deep thinkers. So, Saturday afternoon was a very pleasant surprise. Plus Phillip is a truly skilled rider, and watching him drop steeeeep lines at Sub rock was very illustrative.

Today was my turn, and I got the social thumbs-up with a crowd of almost 30 at “my ride,” about double my most optimistic expectation driving to. I don’t feel like I have the right or cause to be particularly heavy-handed on an outing designed to be casual and with people more knowledgeable or skilled than myself, so I wasn’t. Things got moving at the planned time, I’m pretty sure no one got abandoned, and those interested (18) finished to full “adventure loop” on the moto trail. One flat, nothing broken, lots of fun, and a well executed group endeavor. With beer after. I am pleased.

The mission of the next four days: rest and withdraw the energy inwards. Savings in earnest for the weekend ahead. It’s gonna be awesome.

Technical notes (as posted on MTBR):

The Weirwolves are beginning their decline; cut sidewall last weekend, pinch this weekend. The rear tread is looking thin. Overall, I’m very pleased, and will by the same when I replace the rear (quite soon).

Went back to Sugino 175’s: longer cranks with lower Q good. The Race Face’s will take a place of honor in the parts box for future use.

3 Comments

  1. Sounds like a success. (whopping). I’ve never seen more than 10 folks make it to Prescott for a fling ride.I’m still anti-social, but at least qualified as an “I” on the Myers-Briggs.Would have been fun, but that’s my life at this time. Sorry not to introduce my wife Heather in the car with me.

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