My mother in law had a great phrase to describe her live and let live attitude:  “Everyone has their own mishigas (craziness)”.

So too with the people I ride with.   While some of it is annoying, most of it is just interesting.

My wife is usually the only woman on our group rides or one of two or three.   Whenever she passes a bunch of male riders, most of them will, invariably,   peel out after her.

This does not happen when another guy does the same thing.   I call it the lemming effect.   She will do this just to see them react.

Many years ago we rode with a man who would always chase you up a hill.   A group of us would take turns making him nuts and exhausted.   On each hill one of us would dash ahead.   By the end of the ride he was shot.   He totally understood what was going on, but that was his mishigas.

I will really bother people about ride etiquette, often with no positive result.   I will continue to do it, because that is my mishigas.

Some riders in our group will only ride in front or back, unless the group is extremely well behaved, because they do not want to be in a pack of people shifting positions at any moment.

What is your mishigas? Share it with us.


In The Beginning Part 2

The New Bikes

. . . after two years or so of riding the hybrids, I finally decided I needed a “real bicycle”. The learning curve was a bit better — regarding what to buy — but not yet all that great.

I wound up with a Raleigh 700, at a modest $1,300, from a local bike store . . . fortunately.

Before I bought the bike from the local store, I had gone to the BIG PRO STORE in the area. Unfortunately they have two groups of sales people — those that know what they are doing and those that think they know what they are doing. I got hooked up with one of the latter. Had I bought the bike from them, it would have been too big.

When I went to the local bike store, they asked me if I knew my bike size. I said 52. One of the owners looked at me and said “I don’t think so.” They resized me to 50, which turned out to be the correct move.

Maybe the bike wasn’t the best, but it did work, except . . . Why was I leaning over so much? My back hurt. I raised the handlebars, but for the duration of ownership I could only ride about an hour on the hoods. Then I had to ride the top of the bar. I just worked with it.

Was this fun — sure was. All of a sudden I did not need to ride with the slowest group in club A and I could keep up the the hill climbing crazies in club B. Life was nice.

I rode one day with a bike club and one day with my wife.

THEN — Susan (my wife), decided that she was getting really bored with the limited number of off road bike trails available in the area — and she was going to start riding on the road.

When we got to road riding, however, it became a whole ‘nother event.

At first Susan did not want to give up her hybrid. With the crazy hill climbing club she spent a lot of time walking the longer hills or lagging far far behind. To help her confidence we started to ride more the the crazy avoid the hills riding club. She was thrilled. A group she could keep up with. She was riding with one group, however, and I was riding with a faster group.

I spent along time trying to convince Susan that she should get a road bike. She liked her hybrid. It provided a certain comfort level. Eventually, however, she made the switch. After much investigation, she found a Fuji Team on sale at Colorado Bike.

The first ride convinced her it was the right choice. The only issue was the saddle — but that was solved with some trial and error.

After she started using the new bike, she eventually became too fast for her ride group. She moved up to mine — fought here way from the bottom of the group, where every ride was a struggle — and found a comfort level at the two clubs we ride with.

That’s how it all got started.


How many cyclists does it take to complete a ride?

The leader starts out somewhat faster than the posted speed for the ride. Of the 12 starters, two assume this IS the ride pace and decide to go off by themselves.

The leader soon runs out of steam and slows the pace down too much. Two riders decide to ride ahead and miss a turn on the route.

Gratuitous Hills (hills for the sake of climbing hill after hill — or designing the route to include as many hills as possible) — leave the two sane riders with the attitude of why? They go off on their own.

Finally its pit stop, lunch, snack time. Two riders decide they need to hurry back and leave the group.

Back at the lot the leader says “Where are … and names all the people who dropped off”

So answer to the question in the title is: the number depends on the color of the leader’s helmet.

Another normal, or not, group ride put to rest.