Friday Group Ride #152


I tell my kids, on the rare occasion that we pass an accident on the highway, not to crane their necks and press their small noses against the window to gawk at the mayhem. You’ll blind yourselves staring into the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles, I tell them, and your attention won’t help the injured. Be grateful that the road still hums under our tires, and that we are still, mercifully, on our way.

When I parted the blinds this morning, the sun was just splitting the clouds on the east side of Boston, the Hancock and Prudential Towers silhouetted beneath a purple and white cloud line. It reflected off the crust of still-white snow in the front yard and bathed the kitchen in brightness. The radio said it was cold out, but this is one of those sunny, crisp winter days that hints at Spring’s rebirth.

I stood on the shop floor yesterday and talked with Mike about the rides to come this year. Registration is open for a couple of the big gravel rides that cash in on end-of-summer fitness, and we talked about riding them together. He clued me into another private ride over some of that same terrain, 60 miles of New Hampshire hill climbing, and we made the kind of plans you make when it’s cold out and the summer is just an approaching dot on the horizon. It felt good.

This week’s Group Ride is about the good days to come. What events do you plan to ride? What trips are you going to take (with your bike)? Who will you ride with this year that you didn’t ride with last?

I sincerely hope to meet more of YOU this year. Padraig and I have spoken about connecting for any number of the larger fondos and off-road rides that have become highlights of the casual, US cycling season. When we know where we’ll be, we have every intention to connect with readers who will also be there.

Image: Matt O’Keefe

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  1. Scott G

    I’ll be riding the Levi’s King Ridge Grand Fondo this year for the first time and my girlfriend will be joining me.

  2. Andrew Joseph

    Planned to go to the Pyrenees for the tour, climb some Cols. But need to repair the roof, so that’s out the window.

    A week in tenerife attempting to climb mt.Tiedi is sorted.

    Might do mountain mayhem 24hr mtb event and/ or sleepless in the saddle.

    Hopefully will do a few days touring and collecting ctc quest points.

  3. Patrick

    The Michigan Mountain Mayhem 200km in June with a couple of guys who are typically able to rip my legs off, so that should be fun. The bonus is that the course takes us by one of the best brewpubs in the state. Oh sweet sweet blessedness of mixing beer + epic bike riding.

    One of my longtime buds just got his photo gallery from CX natz posted to; I invite you to check it out. He’s a gifted photographer and fanatic of all thing bike, I think he really nailed it with his shots.

    Many other road and offroad events yet TBD.

    Good spinning to all for the year.


  4. Anthony F

    AdventureCorp’s Death Valley Double in March.

    I’ve built a nice base so I might do a couple of crits and race track. Haven’t had a license since USAC was USCF.

  5. PeterLeach

    I’m off to Adelaide to ride the Community Challenge stage of the Tour Down Under next week 🙂

    Mid-year I’m planning to organise a local ‘100 Miles of Nowhere’ event as part of the FatCyclist fundraising efforts, then later in the year, I hope to ride the Hartley Lifecare Cycle Challenge [Canberra – Charlotte’s Pass – Canberra].

    But mostly, just enjoying being on my bike.

  6. Clark

    This will be year #5 at Levi’s Gran Fondo for me. Maybe I’ll do another destination ride next year instead, but I do love riding in Northern California. Hoping for another trip or two to the area in the summer, or perhaps Colorado. As a new resident of Nashville, I’m planning to make the short drive to CX Worlds in a few weeks (the bike will probably stay at home for that one), and would love to ride 3 States, 3 Mountains in Chattanooga in May if my schedule allows. Also hoping to go spectate the US Pro Road Championships a few weeks later. Asheville, NC and Mt Mitchell have also been on my list since I knew I was moving to this area, so perhaps I can fit them in as well. Going to be a busy season, but I’m looking forward to it (and the fitness that should come as a result if I can make it all work!).

  7. brucew

    My usual summer kick-off is the first weekend of June at the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour, a 3-day ride weekend based out of Watkins Glen, NY. The catering is as notable as the cycling.

    Towards the end of June, meeting up with some folks I know from online for a weekend of cycling in southwestern Wisconsin.

    Towards the end of July, meeting up with more folks from the same online group for a weekend in Lexington, MA.

    In August, my usual week vacation at the family’s summer place in the Rideau Lakes region of eastern Ontario, Canada. Lots of gravel road cycling, eh?

    On the second weekend of September, my summer wraps up with the Highlander Cycle Tour. 11,000 feet of climbing on a century in the Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

  8. Steve

    In April, Dairy Roubaix and the big dance itself: Trans-Iowa.
    In May, the Almanzo 100 and perhaps the Gravel Metric.
    In June, Powderhorn 24
    In May, June, and July, some brevets, perhaps.
    In August, a 10-day tour in Wisconsin and Michigan.

    And in September or October, an as yet unnamed event that we hope to put on ourselves, in the style of the Gentlemen’s Race.

  9. Michael

    I’m thinking about long solo rides in the winds of April, and then maybe a trip out to California to do a credit-card tour down the hills east of the Salinas Valley, perhaps from Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo or Ventura. I’ll try to grab an old friend and my brother to join me. A friend organizes an unofficial one-day ride in the Santa Cruz Mountains about then, so maybe combine the two rides. Then, some business in late July in Ireland – I’ll bring my coupler bike and ride there, and then maybe try for a tour in Yurp with my family. But this weekend I might actually go for a ride – the temperatures got above freezing yesterday and today and the ice is beginning to leave the roads. First things first – get off rollers and outside!

  10. LesB

    In SoCal the main season for organized rides is the springtime.

    Planning to start with the Solvang century in March as a training exercise for the Planet Ultra’s KOM series, consisting of
    Mulholland Challenge
    Breathless Agony
    Heartbreak Hundred

    Might also do Ride Around the Bear and LA Wheelmen’s Grand Tour century.

    Would love to do the Grizzly Peak century in NorCal, since it cruises through and around my old stomping grounds from my youth. But that one conflicts with Breathless. Oh well.

  11. Eto

    Here in west Michigan a favorite for me (and not my wife’s) is the oldest Mother’s Day tour, the Tour of the Scioto River Valley or T.O.S.R.V. It is a two day out and back tour that starts in Columbus Ohio with the half way point in Chillicothe Ohio.

    On the other end of the season, I plan to do the Ice Man Challenge, a 27+ mile mountain bike race which takes place here in Northern Michigan the first Saturday in November. In between, I hope for riding at least a few times a week to enjoy some local rides.

  12. Noel

    This will be my 3rd summer as a cyclist and the first that I am approaching from a race/event standpoint. I’m well beyond the “young buck” stage of life and have never considered myself a racer or really even much of a competitor but after being talked into a short mountain bike race late last year I found that I really enjoyed it. That being the case, I am spending my second winter (such that we have here in the middle of North Carolina) on the trainer following a plan and using the excellent TrainerRoad software to get ready for a season of time trial and mountain bike racing, with possible a stab at cyclocross late in the season.

    First up, probably, is the opening race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) Time Trial Series in the middle of May. Next will be the Burn24 24 hour mountain bike race on Memorial weekend at the end of May. More Charlo

  13. Noel

    Sorry for the kinda double post. Tablet browser went wonky and I inadvertently hit the submit button before I intended.

    Anyway, after Burn24 is more CMS time trials, one per month from June to September, along with various charity rides I’ll do with my wife, and possibly some more mountain bike races if something interesting pops up. The early fall then brings the Brunswick Brawl mountain bike race and hopefully a couple of races in the NC Cyclocross series.

    I’m really looking forward to it!

  14. Peter Lin

    I’m thinking of doing mount washington and six gaps. Definitely doing mount greylock century, it’s a fantastic ride with a fun decent down Mohawk trail.

  15. Savvycyclist

    El Tour de Tucson for sure. Kick the season off with the Blossom Ride in March. Ride a lot on the coast around San Simeon. Giro Bello in June. Couple more to round the season off before Tucson. Should be a great year.

  16. marcoplacero

    Just did Grasshopper Old Caz on my CX tubulari rig, loved in perfect weather but for the weirdo black ice follies I stayed ahead of at the start, then an ice boulder bit me with a lycra cigarette burned knee and a bent lever at the bottom of Willow– who cares it was still astonishingly scenic plus the best; great companionship. So more Grasshoppers for me.
    Paskenta Century with my set is coming up, then a full season of racing before Levi’s GF. Maybe fly to Veneto.
    We’re doing our own informals including perimeter and a ride I figured out on small gravel-top levees from Cool Hand Luke in the rice checked valley westward and dirt climb to 500 meters in the foothills.
    Oh plus we might do our permitted fundraiser again on dirt and more dirt.

  17. Brian

    I’m looking to do the Tour of the Dragons in Vermont. Then a few centuries/gran fondos. I hope to see the RKP crew out there! Let us know where you’ll be hanging in New England!

  18. Randall

    I’ll be riding the
    Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge (150km)
    Tour d’France Stage Challenge
    Bike leg of the Wiesbaden 70.3 (on a relay team)

    I’d also like to find some earlier-year time trials and at least one XC MTB marathon, but the year is still early… 🙂

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