|Leigh, Paul, Mike, me, Dave, Bob, Stu, Brad, and Tom in front of our sponsor's store|
Only a few more weeks left for the Tuesday night "B" rides, and then this season is officially over.
I'm not sure how I ended up the ride leader this year (I'll accept "Queen B"), but I've had a lot of fun with it. We've had a decent turnout every week, and quite a few new members joined our ranks since spring. I was pleased to see so many women join, and I've got some big ideas for a women's race squad next year.
I've witnessed the evolution of this "B" group over the years: from a handful of sometimes riders and stragglers who fell off the "A" train, to an organized and committed bunch that seem to want to ride as a team. I can't speak for anyone else, but this club feels to me more like a band of brothers - and now sisters - who look out for each other, encourage, challenge, and root for one another. And, just like hanging out with my brothers, Tuesday night rides are guaranteed to include lots of banter, good-natured competitiveness, and plenty of camaraderie. And a fair share of trash talk.
There was this unspoken code of coolness: Someone was always willing to hang back to help a teammate. Someone was always willing to take the lead to keep the ride moving smoothly, and at a decent pace. Someone was always willing to drop the hammer after we all summited the climb. No one complained about slower climbers, and there was no whining about the 'Hill Rule'.
Now that I think about it, my only job as 'ride leader' was to figure out a route, tell everybody when to show up, and make sure we didn't lose anyone. But really, the success of these rides came from within the dynamic of the group itself, and from the individual team members who took it upon themselves to make sure every rider would want to come back next week, and the week after that.
|Brad leading the pace, with an impressive rider turnout behind him|
|Tom waits until the last few miles, then he rides that bike like he stole it.|
|Stu helps keep the pace consistent and reasonable, and is quick to offer encouragement|
|Bob's coaching on working together in a paceline really started to pay off towards mid-season|
|Brian's blistering pace up Highland Rd. ensured he would have to go back down and ascend it again|
|Me and Heather aren't planning on getting passed by any of the guys on the ascent|
|Bob on his borrowed Trek bike|
|Tiffany waited for me while I fixed the 2nd of 2 flats in the same night. Really, we just wanted to ditch the ride early and go have a drink up at Bricco.|
|Brad loves Snowville. EVERYBODY loves Snowville.|
|Dave M is known to dole out some really great ride advice, often in the most abrasive way possible|
|A rare appearance by Ron, and then he broke a spoke. We haven't seen him since, but I hear he made it back OK.|
|Tad pretending he isn't part of the "A" group|
|Heather doesn't know it, but she helped resurrect this group just by showing up and doubling the number of women in the club. And now there are at least 5 women who regularly come out and ride with SFW.|
|Leigh was always gracious about staying back with slower riders. And then he would come back up front and put the hammer down so hard we couldn't catch him.|
All photos used in this posting were taken by Leigh Atkins, except the top photo which was taken by a bystander (with Leigh's camera) and for the one of Leigh, which was taken by me...