Cycling Economics 101, $6 > $11,000

Bill learns a lesson in cycling economics.

Today’s Trek group ride was a bit on the small side with only about 25 riders as many cyclists electing to ride one of two other scheduled event rides. It was a little odd not seeing and hearing Tony Catalina’s (our fearless ride leader) patented pre-ride speech, but nevertheless, our little group formed up and slowly made it’s way out of Coconut Point.

Before we even made it out onto the street, we ran into a cyclists looking very upset still in his car with a police car stopped behind him with all lights ablaze. Poor guy was running a little late and was caught exceeding the speed limit. Tough start for him with 3 points going against his license plus a $175 dollar fine. Half of the group waited for him to unload and prep his bike, causing a split in our small group before we had even officially started.

I chose to stick with the lead group, not knowing how long it would take the other group to start up, which in retrospect, turned out to be a bad decision as this group was pretty much composed of A+ riders only. Instead or our normal 21 MPH pace to the airport we were flying down the boulevard at a 23-25 MPH pace against the wind no less.

By the time we hit the airport turn off I was pretty much toast, gladly dropping off the group and letting them accelerate away towards the terminal. Luckily I wasn’t the only one, as 3 other riders settled onto my back wheel preferring my 20-21 MPH pace instead. The four of stayed together throughout the airport loop fighting against strong headwinds, eventually finding our way back to Tree Line and some favorable winds.

As we approached the Daniels Parkway intersection, we spotted Bill, one of the high speed crazy A riders sitting on the side of the road looking rather dejected. We stopped and saw he had a rear flat. Apparently his second one in under a mile. His fully tricked out Trek Project One had been stopped by a tiny sliver of wire. To make matters worse, his extremely deep rimmed carbon wheels required extraordinarily long valved tubes, which none of us carried.

We attempted to do all kinds of crazy McGuyver-like adaptations to make our tubes fit, but no matter how hard we tried, the stem never protruded far enough out from the rim to attach a hand pump or CO2 cartridge. Bill’s $11,000 electronically shifting, technological tour de force of a bike had been stopped cold by a very humble $6 part. Needless to say we teased him incessantly while trying to help especially since his only recourse was to walk his bike back a few blocks to the Dunkin Donuts and wait for one of us to pick him up.

The four of us eventually made it back to Coconut Point, long overdue, but still chuckling about Bill’s predicament, especially after we found out that the reason he doesn’t carry a second tube is to save weight….. somehow I think a couple extra ounces beats the heck out of being stuck at Dunkin Donuts in skin tight lycra eating glazed donuts while waiting to be picked up.

Route: Trek Airport Group Ride
Ride Time: 2:00:52
Stopped Time: 43:32
Distance: 36.09 miles
Average: 17.92 mph
Fastest Speed: 25.78 mph
Ascent: 500 feet
Descent: 494 feet
Calories: 1554

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