There are many types of amateur cyclists. The Crit riders who ride on tracks of varying shapes and distances, as hard as they can for 30 minutes. There are usually two or three separate categories which allows riders of every level to race once a week. Cat 5&6, Cat 3&4, and Cat 1, 2 and professional. These are by far the best and most serious amateur riders.
There is also the club riders. Again there are levels. A, B. Sometimes C groups and of course my favorite, the AARP spinners. The A and B groups are usually very serious and like to dress like the pros with logos and matching kits. The goal is to go for a bike ride and finish it as fast as they can, and can get very anal over their average speed, max speed and VO2 ma. Over the years, I managed to work my way down from the double paceline A group to the AARP spinners.
There are city group rides. Casual rides with friends and family. Bike path riders, country road solo riders, and on and on. Very often, bikers and drivers jockey for road space. Even when there is room for both. Sometimes things get heated.
Loaded touring riders don’t fit any of these stereotypes. Cyclists on loaded bikes are not tourist. They are treated at Travelers. People love to talk with them. “Where did you start? Where are you going? How long have you been on the road? Etc. I met two Travelers today. It was chaos.
A couple of weeks ago, I didn’t quite feel like riding. It was an early morning group ride in Rhode Island. Ten miles to a state park before returning to our start point. From there it was another twenty to Providence and back. During the first ten mile loop, I told the others to ride on and I would catch up. Brian insisted on staying with me while I rested. Soon enough I was good to go. I did drop out after the first ten.
Later that day, I took the pups for a walk and while doing a mild incline, I didn’t feel good again. After a couple of minutes rest, I was fine. Over the following two weeks, I did a 30, a 40 and a 15 mile ride and all was hunky dory. However, every time I walked the dogs, I felt chest pressure.
On Monday, I checked into the emergency room at my local hospital. Wednesday I was transferred to a cardiac hospital to have yet another stent. Before I was rolled into the OR, the heart surgeon told me that I had at least four heart attacks over the past two weeks.
The point of all this? My bikes will be ornamental for a while, and I won’t be contributing riding post and videos. I will be active here till I can ride again. I hope you like soccer. For example
Last night in Austin, TX, the world champion US woman’s national team, opened the new Q2 packed stadium with a game against Nigeria. Tomorrow, Austin FC will play their first game at Q2.
This area is very bike friendly. Most vehicles slow till it’s safe to pass, and when they do, it’s usually with all four tires across the yellow lines. We had a false alarm thinking one of our group got hit by a pickup. The driver saw the fall and stopped to help our friend David who caught the road edge and took a diggah. All was well.
To some, (all those who know me), I’m considered a bike fanatic. So be it. However, bike riding is, by a long shot, number two of my fanaticism’s. Soccer is at the top of the list. This year is a really good year for fans of the beautiful game.
Soccer is the only sport where one can travel anywhere in the world and come across a group kicking a ball around, and by just standing nearby, without saying a word, one of the group will pass the ball to you. Your a fan and your one of us. Also, you can name a team from any country and get a reaction from those in the group. Barcelona, Paris St. Germain, Dortmund, Chelsea, Juventus, Chivas, Inter. Everyone know these eight teams from eight different countries. They know the players, the coaches, the stats and the history of the clubs. It’s the sport where a Saturday afternoon inter league game, Barcelona and Athletico Madrid for example, will draw tens of millions more fans than any Super Bowl, Baseball or Basketball championship game.
The walk to the stadium can be exhilarating beyond description. Drums, flags, smoke, singing, chanting. It’s all part of the experience. And you know what? It’s happening, finally here in America. Our club stadiums are selling out. Our national team is looking like world contenders.
I have been a fan for decades. In the 80’s I worked in marketing for the New England T-Men and can recall success was, twenty percent of the stadium with fans, considered a success. This is soccer in America now.
Wednesday’s weather is somewhat unstable. So…. The ride to Wareham has been moved to Friday.
When: Friday June 11
Meet: Staples in Fairhaven, MA. 17 Plaza Way.
Time: Wheels up at 9 AM
Weather forecast: Sunny, with temps in the mid 60’s. Winds out of the southeast at 11 MPH
A 30 + mile road ride on quiet back roads of Mattapoisett, and Rochester to Wareham center. This is fashioned for the intermediate rider at an average speed of around 12 MPH. Some of the better riders may cut loose on the return, and anyone who wants to hammer back to Staples is welcome to join them. I will stay with those who want to keep it at a easier pace. E-bikes are more than welcome to join us. (I’ll be riding one).
We will stop for a bit at the park across from Verilife dispensary for a while. There are a few places to grab a healthy or unhealthy snack, very close to the park. If anyone wants to restock at the dispensary, we will wait for you.
Time: 10 AM Wheels up. 15 and 30 mile options at a casual pace on flat surface.
We will leave Staples and ride into New Bedford. West Beach, Fort Rodman, East Beach and the middle of the harbor on the hurricane barrier.
Leg 2 will bring us back to Fairhaven to Fort Phoenix.
Leg 3 Riding the Phoenix bike path, the ride will take us to Mattapoisett on the back roads. We will pass Staples on the way to Ned’s point at mile 15 of the ride. This is a bail out spot for those who don’t wish to continue.
We will do a brief visit to the elevated bike path extension under construction in Mattapoisett before continuing to Ned’s Point Light. A combination of back roads and bike path will bring us back to Staples giving a 30 mile, flat, casual ride.
It has been a good weekend to stay home and watch some games on TV.
For the first time since 1947, Brentford will be playing at the Top Level of England!
It was also a rewarding Saturday for New England Sports. The Revolution and the Red Sox both won. The Celtics play later on today. All sporting venues are at full capacity now and the crowds are back.
MLS is on a three week break for international play, and I have to wait till June 23rd to attend a home game at Gillette. I am also planning two road trips. Atlanta United and Austin FC. Atlanta draws between 60 and 70k for their home matches and the atmosphere is electric. Austin in it’s inaugural year in MLS, has sold out for the season. There is a wait list, with a membership fee of $50, which has surpassed 20K. Fortunately, I have people in both Atlanta and Austin to hopefully score me a couple of tickets.
At the top of the list however, the Men’s National Team begins their tournament season with a friendly in Switzerland today. This is the first game that the full team of international players will be representing America. Previously is was MLS players and with a couple of the internationals on the squad. There is one exception to the roster today. Christian Pulisic. He won the Champions League yesterday and was also the first Yank to represent the Red, White and Blue in a world final.
OUR. NUMBER. TEN. IS. A. CHAMPIONS. LEAGUE. WINNER.