Not every overly challenging ride involves climbing 10,000 ft in the space of 10 miles, with a sticking brake and a wicked case of the crabs.
Holding on for dear life in a pack in order to move up the boards in Strava drive some. I like beer. I ride on the rivets nowadays in order to get to the liquor store before it closes. I can make up ground pretty quickly through traffic when the spirit and the specials at The Bottle King move me. It is only truly a sufferfest if the doors close right in front of me. I can be inconsolable during these moments.
Some rides are so sorry that midway through you just turn the computer off. Sometimes it’s just better to forget.
I ride with every level of rider. A’s to C’s with varying results. On terrain better suited to me I can suck wheels, give horrible pulls and eventually get shot out the back. No worse feeling than to know that 21mph will only allow you access to no-mans-land. Too fast for the B’s and too slow for the A’s. No-Man’s-Land sucks. You went too deep, too early and your date left with the captain of the chess club. Yeah it feels that bad.
So the last group ride I was on involved all levels. I was the sweeper (aka Waste Management). If I drifted back to see you, I wasn’t inquiring about your passion for Dutch porn, I was keeping you company and providing a wheel to suck. Take that wheel in deep. I love to see riders bust their asses to keep pace or at least not fall off into the abyss. So long as I see the effort, I can table my own desires. The problem lies when C-Rida (no relation to Flo-Rida) gets dropped by the C’s. A new class now exists on the road. This new species has yet to be categorized. I stay with him. I choose to use the rollers as a pump track. Absolutely no aggression in my pedal stroke. Shit! No pedal stroke. I turned around to see that I had dropped him without a stroke. I wish I were bragging. This ride had started out wonderfully on the flats, disintegrated on the hills and become insufferable on the descents. I turned the Garmin off. I deleted about 40 miles with a fair amount of climbing with it. At that point the stats did not matter, only the agony and the knowledge of the fact that to get home, there was still more agony to be had.
In the end the ride was done (Yogi Berra influenced). I hope that the rider builds on the fitness that was gained and comes to the next gunfight with at the very least a butter knife.