Friday, May 31, 2013

BM on the BK When Necessary

Last Saturday I joined a group of friends for a 50 mile group ride through the hills of Council Bluffs. It had all the promises of a grand time in the making. The early morning clouds had parted, leaving only a few puffy white clouds and plenty of sunshine. Memorial Day weekend festivities were in the making as the stage was being setup for the Beach Boys in the newly dedicated Tom Hanafan park. The sun, the pending concert, the beginning of summer and a three day weekend were too much to contain as I found myself whistling "California Girls" through the gap created by my broken tooth. YPG.

I had ridden with everyone in the group several times previously. The route was also quite familiar. The pace was mostly easy on account that MOD was tapering his thoroughbred, Rafal Doloto, for this weekend's Dirty Kanza 200. Still, with the steep hills in the bluffs of Council 'Tuckey, there were a few rough spots. As a result, the group split up a few times. This was no problem because this was a no drop ride.

It was on one of these regroupings that the first incident happened. The group had fractured while climbing a steep gravel hill. After that, four of us were up the road soft pedaling to allow the group to catch on. While we were doing this, another rider suddenly came around me announced and overtook my space. If I didn't hit my brakes we would have crashed. Sketchy, but I held my tongue this time.

The other incident happened as we crossed the Bob Kerry bridge near the end of our ride. Rafal and I were riding side by side, talking about the Beach Boys when I felt the presence of a third rider sidling up between us. It was the same offender as before, and this time he managed to occupy nearly all of the space that existed between us. Before I could say anything, we collided. At 6 mph. Thankfully, neither of us went down. But the whole thing was reckless and could have been avoided. Anger flashed inside of me.

That was when I dropped a big BM on the BK.

"HOLD YOUR LINE AND STOP RIDING LIKE AN IDIOT," I shouted. There may have been a few other adjectives in there too, you get the point.

It got quiet for a moment, there on the award-winning BK bridge, as we picked our path through the concert going foot traffic.

Rafal broke the silence. "So much for the good vibrations," he said between clenched teeth.

I didn't say anything more until long after the ride. I followed up with a note of explanation to the rider as to why I was became so angry at his lack of group riding etiquette.In short, it went like this:

1. Always hold your line.
2. Follow the person in front of you.
3. Cross-wheeling is unacceptable.

We should all be familiar with these group riding rules. There are others, but these are among the most basic.

Admonishing others isn't enjoyable. It's easier to blow your stack and be done with it. But by taking the effort to explain why will hopefully correct it for next time.

To his credit, the rider accepted my counsel, apologized and said he'd work on improving his group riding skills.

There I feel better after getting that BM off my chest. Wait, uh, never mind.

Happy Friday and Safe Riding, everyone.


  1. I've never been so grateful in my life that you don't ride armed. Doubt I would've received so much as a warning shot.

  2. In fact Kevin G, Brady always always brings a pair of guns on the ride. Woa to the sorry soul he decides to use them on.