Last year, I let my Louisville Bicycle Club membership lapse. I didn’t exactly intend to, but I wasn’t getting to club rides — in short, the ones that fit into my schedule seemed to start too far from home — so it wasn’t a priority.
Flash forward to today. This morning I finally hopped onto the LBC website after quite the little hiatus … and I discovered that the club rides aren’t really all that far away, after all.
Have they changed their start locations?
One of the great things about LBC is that it’s a huge and very active club. If you want a club ride on any day of the week, even in February, you can probably find at least three. Moreover, the rides and ride start locations are highly stable: the ‘Slow ‘n’ Easy’ ride has left a couple times a week from the Yellow Lot at Waterfront Park since forever.
The Hogan’s Fountain ride has left from Hogan’s Fountain in Cherokee Park since … well, forever.
The 2:00 Sunday ride has left from Heine Brothers’ coffee on Chenoweth in Saint Matthew’s since … probably since before the Heine Brothers’ was there.
The thing is, a little more than a year ago, these rides all seemed to be really far away. Not that I felt like 9 or 12 miles was an epic distance in and of itself … I just felt like 9 or 12 miles, plus a 25- to 50-mile ride, plus another 9 or 12 miles seemed like a bit much, and like it would take forever, since I’d clearly have to leave at least an hour ahead.
It’s hard to imagine that, now.
See, the thing is, the club rides haven’t changed — I have.
There’s a phrase I encountered once: Distance Does Wonders. In its original iteration, it referred to that effect wherein one spots a guy who appears to be hella cute, but then realizes upon (literally) closer inspection that he’s not all that.
I happen to like my repurposed version a lot better: Distance Does Wonders as in, riding more distance does wonders for you. A routine commute of 17 miles make a 9 mile ride-to-the-ride seem like no big deal. 9 miles? 12 miles? I can do that to get to the club rides, no sweat.
I guess I also used to be afraid I couldn’t hang with the pack. Last spring, I probably wrote about heading out for the Sunday afternoon Heine Brothers’ ride fearing that I would be dropped by Fast People. Denis told me not to worry; that I was Fast People. I didn’t believe him, but when the ride started, I hung at the front of the second group, no sweat, until I got off course and wound up on a much longer ride.
Anyway, I re-upped my club membership today, and just now I noticed that there is, in fact, a Friday morning ride that leaves from right near my house to take on some of the most serious hills in the county. I won’t be able to make it this Friday due to a prior commitment, but I will be able to make it next Friday.
Thursday, I might see about banging out a 50-miler with the club before my therapy appointment (I’ll have to get my homework done for my Thursday evening class, first).
Today, since I’m now way behind schedule, I can expect to bang out fifteen or twenty, depending on what kind of speed I can muster. Tomorrow, it’ll be the usual 17 to class, 7 home.
I’m cautiously optimistic about getting back into club rides. I feel like I know my way around a bike better than I did a year ago; like I know my current capabilities and limits pretty well and am ready to begin pushing them.
Spring is approaching fast, and with it racing season. I intend to be on top of things. There’s a road race on the 9th of March that I might try. Only 30 minutes of hard effort for Cat 5 men. I think I can do that, and it’s only $30 or so to try. I could even ride to the race if I want to, though I’d wind up riding more mileage to and from the race than I would in the race itself.