There is a saying in the cycling community which states “you’re never too young or old to ride a bike”. That saying hit home today like never before.
Señor J and I were on our way to do a quick 40 mile to ride Coconut Point today when we spotted a good number of riders prepping their bikes at the Sweetbay Market. Being the social group riding whores that we are, we asked where they were headed and if we could tag along. Coincidence has it that they had the same destination we had, so we promptly joined them. After all, it is always much more enjoyable to ride with a group.
Now, the typical bike noob would have taken one look at all those riders and thought that they were all too old to ride with. There’s no way these “old farts” can keep up, let alone ride 40 plus miles. Well, ye noobs of little faith would be absolutely shocked at the ability of these riders, as well as their past merits.
See, although they were all “older” gentlemen, they were all very seasoned cyclists of the Caloosa Riders Bike Club, with many tens of thousands of miles under their belts. One gentleman, for example, has participated in 18 straight RAGBRAI’s (7 day ride across Iowa), another spends part of his time in Colorado where he rides up mountains for fun, another just returned from a ride from Florida to Washington DC. There was even one gentleman who was 84 years young and was having no difficulties keeping up with the group, which was traveling at speeds of 24-25 MPH!
We actually arrived at Coconut Point logging an average speed of over 21 MPH. To put that into perspective, when Señor J and I go on that route by ourselves, our average speed is in the high 19 MPH range. Sure, a group of riders can travel quicker and more efficiently than just two, but regardless of physics, this group of…I’m no going to call them older, instead I’ll call them “hardened”…riders was moving at a very fast clip…and mind you they told us this was a recovery spin for them as yesterday was their hard ride.
This just goes to prove that in cycling, there is no way to “judge a book by its cover”. A young gun with chiseled legs may be able to handle crits and sprints, but he’d get his proverbial ass handed to him by these hardened riders on any kind of long distance ride. In fact, on the last mile of the fast return ride home, I was not able to latch back onto the pace line after a pull….my fault actually as I pulled too long into a head wind, as I typically tend to do, and missed the signal of the last rider, letting a gap form between us. Regardless of my reason/excuse, I was dropped by older farts than me!!!
On another note, Señor J has got a really pretty shiny new toy to play with. Being the cycling fanatic that he is, he pulled the trigger and purchased a 2012 Trek Madone 5.9 with a full Ultegra Di2 set up….that my friends is technical speak for the latest wiz bang full electronic shifting as found in the top tours of this little blue planet. Sure it may have cost him as much as slightly used compact car, but it’s very sexy and fast! Now I’m going to have to bust my butt even more to keep up with his “happy legs”. Congrats Señor J!
Ride Time: 2:05:27
Stopped Time: 32:26
Distance: 38.61 miles
Average: 18.47 mph
Fastest Speed: 27.35 mph
Ascent: 496 feet
Descent: 459 feet