Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Challenge of Corporate Cycling

So after not riding very much during the weekdays before, hell, even the month before, I decide to hop on with Bryan and crew meeting at Carribou to head down to the Corporate Cycling Challenge. Amazingly, I was almost on time for the 7:15 meeting time. Somehow, Bryan let everyone else know that the real meeting to have coffee time was 7am. So, I was given the "Munson time cushion." It all worked out. It was Me, Bryan, Fred, Brady, and John(first time meeting him). So we took off.

On the way down, we got Boonened by Mark Brackenbury, but we caught back up to him. Then we also rode along with Roxy and Ryan who were running the skinnies for a change. It was also interesting to ride toward downtown and be passed by so many cars with bikes attached to them. Different. Once we got to the start place, it was PACKED!! I think this has been the largest OCCC yet. We quickly got to the front since riding around all the slower riders is quite dangerous. Brian even wanted to start a block up the road, but peer pressure caved in and we were on the front lines.

It started pretty mellow, and the large front fast group formed almost instantly. Bryan and I decided not to be a part of it since were being passed by the guys who joined that group. Way too many sketchy fast Keystone trail guys to ride comfortably with. So we hung back and eventually were vindicated when a big crash happened from that group when they crossed some railroad tracks. We did get caught up riding kinda quickly for a while since lots of guys were passing us. Ya know, it's just pride messing with ya. As soon as we hit Hwy 75 where there's a long grinding hill, we passed many many people who had just a few more pounds than us to carry.

On the long downhill on hwy 75, we came apon John, Bryan's friend. He was in the fast group until he flatted going over a pothole during the descent. So we helped him change it and another guy hit the same spot and double flatted. He fixed up his one wheel with his one tube, but needed our help for the other. Then when we were just about done with his, 2 women came rolling to a stop around us and started getting their flat changing stuff out. I noticed this woman was going to try to use her CO2 on her innertube that was wrapped around the rim, WITH NO TIRE ON IT. Luckily I stopped her, put the tire back on, got the innertube properly seated and let them spray their liquid freezing air in. We then took off, the 4 of us, John, Bryan, Me, the guy who double flatted who recently moved here from Indiana. Anyone actually catch his name?? He was a nice guy.

During all the flat changing, we got passed by ssssoooo many people. As we were heading into Ft. Calhoun, we were passing people, but there were swarms of slow riders. And I felt so bad for the few cars that tried to get past these large bunches of weekend warriors using hwy 75 as their personal bike trail. They were taking up the entire road without a care in the world. Nothing will make a driver hate cyclists more than causing them to creep along at 15 mph on a hwy where the speed limit is 65. Such is life I guess.

Of course, on the way back, John had to get another flat so we'd have to again repass all those slower people we had gotten around. Oh well, it was fun regardless.

I'm slowly getting more and more out of shape. It was probably the not eating or drinking enough, but that ride just took it out of me. I ate some good Hy-Vee catered food that UNMC ordered for a picnic, then headed home. I could have napped the whole afternoon, but I had laundry to do. Hurray.


bryan said...

the guy from Indiana was named TJ.

Oh, and don't forget the Aaron Pool sighting.

munsoned said...

Dang it, I knew there was something important I was forgetting.

Yes, Pool was there and in full effect. On the way back from Ft. Calhoun, on Omaha Trace Rd, he was having a good time dragging us along into the S headwind at tempo while easily weaving in and out of slow rider traffic while occasionally talking on his cell phone. I redlined to work up next to him and asked, "You..(pant, pant)..anywhere near..(pant, pant)..LT?" His response in a completely calm voice, "Eh, steady power, but I have to breath a little more on the uphills." I also noticed his quads are GINORMOUS and he's leaner than ever before. (Makes me think of that movie, Orgazmo..."I'm not gay or nothin, but unicorns kick ass.")

So yes, Aaron Pool was sighted and it was great riding with him just to witness supreme conditioning.

UnderDaHill said...

Nice report. Good call NOT joining the Keystone Warrior Pace Line. I hung back on the start and rolled with Ryan, Rox, and the Bike Masters crew. Coming back into town at the end of the ride was also one of the scarriest experiences I've had on a bike...and I ride down Center Street during rush hour almost every day.

Riders in pace lines while in arrow drops? CHECK!

Riders in dense groups with no hands on the bars? CHECK!

Riders going from far right of street to far left of street for now reason when they are being passed on the left? CHECK!

Riders taking a hard left to get off the road after a flat when in a dense group? CHECK!

Groups riding 9 abrest so they can chat? CHECK!

Good times had by all!