When I want to play road cyclist instead of triathlon-carbon-geek, I ride with Tripleshot Cycling, whose name arises from the quantity of espresso it takes to recover from being up and on the road for a 6AM start several days a week.
The club has a raft of scheduled rides – Tuesdays are sprints around the University. Wednesdays are hill workouts. Saturday and Sunday rides tend to go long and vary in their degree of stupidity. And Fridays, the day I usually make it out, are waterfront rambles that end in a sprintfest on the mile-long circuit in Beacon Hill Park. On a good summer day, there can be more than sixty people out, which can make for exciting moments when multiple packs going different speeds converge in the park.
With a big crowd, the group breaks into four or so packs: The A Team; B+ and B- (or B1 and B2) (or, if you prefer, the Killer Bs and the Honey Bs), and C. C is a no-drop group of experienced cyclists slacking off and new cyclists learning the ropes. It’s a welcoming learning environment and the most loving thing they eventually do is cast you out.
“You can ride B now. Yes, you. You can do it. Go away and don’t come back until you’ve been on at least six B rides.”
But this morning, since I’m milking my post-race recovery week for all it’s worth, I decided to amble to work on my bike instead. Then, I decided to put on Tripleshot kit and amble in. Then, I decided to put on Tripleshot kit and amble in right along the waterfront route they all ride, right about the time they’d go by. It was challenging to stay in a deliberately relaxed mindset as the As pinned my ears back; B+ went by like a freight train; and B-, stopped by the side of the road discussing their racing tactics for the next bit, looked at me very suspiciously, turned away, and lowered their voices.
When I drifted into the coffee shop, A, B1, and B2 were still crushing each other in the park, but C was there, looking ever so relaxed and happy and they let me sponge a coffee. So, there you have it. I rode “D” this morning and had the finest outing of all of ’em.