My First Shop Ride - 6/21/12


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  1. #1

    My First Shop Ride - 6/21/12

    I haven't been able to post much lately but had a few minutes so I thought I would share a pretty cool ride from last week.

    Every week, I do some consulting in Northern Maine for two days. The LBS in Orono, Rose Bikes, hosts 3 different shop rides; a casual MTB ride on Mondays, a Wednesday Road Ride, and a more advanced Thursday MTB ride. From all accounts, the guys who show on Thursday are studs...racers and pretty intense riders. My riding buddy Jeff was adamant that we join them this week for the Thursday ride.

    Never having been on any kind of group ride, I was reluctant. Add to that the fact the my Blur is in the shop and I was not feeling it. One of the head mechanics, this guy Matt, said he could hook me up with a Trek 3700 to at least come along. I agreed and we met at the shop for 5:30. The bike, as you can imagine, was complete with reflectors (state law) and kickstand. Oh, and it was one size too small. Awesome.

    All in all, there were 13 riders. The group split into 2; a "fast" group and the "slower" group. When we found out the slower group was heading for paths and "lite" singletrack, we stuck with the faster riders. The ride was through some of the trails around Orono and Old Town. As I have said in past posts, there are tons of miles of trail cut throughout the area. You can probably log 50 + miles without hitting the same trail twice. It tests your ability as a rider, it will go from buff, to rooty and rocky in a blink. There is no "easy" riding here. Some of it is less-technical than other sections but it is never an easy coast. If I rode this trails on a daily basis, I would imagine my ability would grow exponentially.

    A few things that stood out; 1) These guys were ALL impressive riders. The leader of the pack was wow fast. He races every week and can do it all. 2) There was a 30-something year old girl who rode with us. The fact that she was such a good rider upped her hot factor by 10. 3) They were pretty good about waiting.

    Jim, the owner, said that this was a slower-than-average ride, mostly due to the heat. As you can imagine, I was bringing up the rear the whole time. Granted, they ride these trails all the time so familiarity is a huge plus in helping speed. As the ride continued, I noticed that stamina is not a problem for me. My legs would allow me to push through more riding without problem. My issues are solely technique.

    After all was said and done, we got 13.5 miles in just around 2 hours. (1.5 hours of actual moving time) It was a pretty cool group of guys and I am glad I went. The next day, I dropped off 2 - 6 packs of beer for the guys at the shop for doing me the solid of loaning the bike. Since my schedule has me in Old Town every Thursday through August, I am sure I will be riding more with them. Hopefully I will have my own whip back then.

  2. #2
    bvibert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Torrington, CT
    Sounds awesome. Riding with better/faster riders is the best way to improve yourself.

  3. #3
    When I lives in CT I would do the shop ride every Sunday. We always had a blast and there were some really sick bikers. I was around 17 when I did that.

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