I do not have a real bike

Yesterday I went on my first group ride (I do not count the Santa Fe Century) with the local Santa Fe Road Riders.  They are a fairly large and organized Santa Fe cycling club that does about three rides per weekend, broken into groups. The A group consists of the high performing, more competitive riders. Their weekend ride is anywhere from 50-100 miles at a fast pace and they will drop riders who do not keep up. The B group does rides of the order of 50 miles at a moderate pace and they also stop every so often to let all riders catch up. The C group does leisurely rides, 20-50 miles, at a leisurely pace.

I decided to go out with the B group and see how things go. Yesterday’s ride was to do the Santa Fe half-century route in reverse, a clockwise tour from Santa Fe out to Eldorado, down to Galisteo, across to NM 14 and back up to Santa Fe. We left at 9 am.

This is a route that I had done before with Leif during one of our early training rides for the Century. It is a wonderful ride. I won’t go into details about it but you can see the results at Strava. 50 miles in 2:58 for an average of 17.6 mph. Not as good as last week’s time but still better than my previous rides. I’m certainly getting stronger.

The B-group is a nice collection of folks. I enjoyed meeting them in the parking lot and talking with them throughout the ride. I found myself starting at the end of the pack for a few miles to see how they ride and how to fit in. I was in the front 3 riders by the time we arrived at Eldorado to regroup. Overall I think I’m a good fit for this group, but…

We took our long break half way through, in Galisteo. The comments I received from everyone were directed at my bike.

“How can you go so fast on that bike?!”

“I’d hate to see what you’d do to us with a real bike.”

I heard such comments for the remainder of the ride and at the end, pulling into the starting point. I’m not sure whether to feel insulted or complemented. I’m proud of what I’ve done with my commuter bike that probably weighs twice as much as any one of their bikes.*  It’s the bike I’ve learned on and come to know well. I don’t even think I’ve pushed myself to the limit with this bike yet.

My goal now is to keep riding with this group because I like the social aspect of sharing rides and getting to know other riders. They’re quite friendly. I would also like to take an A-group ride at some point but now I’m thinking I’ll wait until I do get my next road bike. We’ll see.

* I’ve since weighed the bike, it’s 29 lbs.


Amateur photographer, cyclist, and beer brewer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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