Friday Group Ride # 161


It’s an excuse-making time of year. With apologies to our friends in the southern hemisphere, we are just thawing out of a challenging winter here in New England. At no other time of year is the gulf between my form and the form of my co-riders so evident.

Some of us have persevered, ridden through the snow and slush and ice, and still have our legs under us.  Others of us (ahem!), were not so stout and imperious. Some of us still need miles like Europe needs solvent banks. Some of us need to do some sand-bagging.

Now let me be 100% clear. You should not be a sand-bagger. We here at RKP do not condone sand-bagging. What you really ought to do is show up for any ride you can, ride as hard as you can, and keep the excuses to yourself. That’s how you ride a bike.


No matter how many times I’ve told myself to shut my mouth and take what I have coming to me, for some reason, when I’m out of shape, I am constitutionally incapable of not sand-bagging, not uttering some pathetic non-excuse excuse before I roll out with a friend or group.

I will say, “Go easy on me. I didn’t sleep last night,” or “Don’t expect much, I played soccer last week (last year) and did something to one of my hips,” or “I think one of my rims is rubbing.” Of course, the last think I would want my companions to think was that I was actually just slow, or worse, lazy.

This week’s Group Ride is looking for your best excuses, your best sand-bagging. I am not saying that I want to put all your best ideas to use (I do), but just that I want to find like-minded souls, the folks who haven’t been keeping after it, to commiserate with, if not to ride with, a laughing group, if you will.

Image: Matt O’Keefe

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  1. Tom in albany

    I spent all of my free time with the kids this winter.

    Indoor training gives me a deathwish.

    I could only make it to spin class a few times.

    I finally got the incredibly hard to find widget to enable me to ride any one of my four bicycles.

  2. christopheru

    While I did ride all winter, my excuse the last week or so has been very simple: I am sick of being cold. Full Stop.

    Spring now, ok?

  3. gmknobl

    That last ride? I had walking pneumonia.

    My metabolism isn’t quite up to speed yet.

    It’s my first ride off the trainer.

    I always think people should go easy on me as the local really good riders always beat me. The real problem is I never have performed well with them around. I train for MS 150s or such outside the area and inevitably have a good day there where no one who knows me can tell. It’s great but I’m fragile enough to want the ego boost so (subconsciously) ride mostly with people I’m better than here. And I guess I need the excuses when I do ride with the tough guys (and gals).

    But really, the last ride I did with any of them was when I found out the next week I had walking pneumonia. No power on any climbs when I (wanted to) breath hard.

    See, that’s a good non-excuse excuse, isn’t it?

  4. Souleur

    -I’m at least 2 weeks away from peaking, seriously

    -hell no, I’m 43 y/o, look for that guy to breakaway

    -yes, they are black socks, don’t worry…

    -sure, had to take care of the kids, the job and my mom is in the hospital, haven’t been in the saddle for a week

    -crap, I didn’t eat anything

  5. Otoman

    The classic, “my coach told me to take it easy today.” Rephrased as, “I did some brutal intervals yesterday.”
    The Tommy D: “I’m teaching my body to burn fat instead of carbs.” Just ridiculous enough to be plausible yet confusing enough that few will call you out (immediately).

  6. Andrew

    Man, I am so with “ChristopherPeru”. I’ve ridden frozen, ice covered gravel all winter. I’ve frozen my hands, feet, and nether bits. I’ve spent a ton of time on the stupid trainer, making up hill climbing and interval “games” with myself and doing S’Fest videos. And I am just totally f’ing sick of it. Just couldn’t drag myself to the gym yesterday, and suspect today will be the same. And although the weekend forecast doesn’t look horrible, it doesn’t look much like “Spring” either.

    I have officially reached the “whining” stage.

  7. Wsquared

    With all the dry weather we’ve had this winter, I’m burnt out from over training….

    I’m still trying to lose that weight I gained over the holidays….

    I’m still recovering from riding into that head wind all day yesterday. Didn’t get a decent tail wind for more than 10 seconds. How is that possible…?

    I’m addicted to bacon…

  8. Peter lin

    my legs won’t warm up in this weather

    the cold air hurts my lungs

    it’s hard to spin with freezing toes

    I need warmth to ride fast

  9. Alex

    I’m on a protein-only, no-carb diet for the past month. Of course I’m weak, how would you ride with only 15 slices of sashimi for dinner?

    And my own favourite:

    Slow down a bit, I take a little longer to warm up… like, 2 or 3 months!

  10. ScottyCycles

    “Strava emailed me and said I had too many K.O.M.’s and I need to back off for a bit and give someone else a chance”

  11. Chiwode

    A vast conspiracy involving chocolate chip cookies and mac-n-cheese seduced me all winter long. i’m 20 pounds over my race weight.

  12. Pat O'Brien

    It’s under 60 degrees, and I want my knees to last as long as I do.

    I’ve been training with the “Old Guys Who Get Fat in Winter Racing Team” along with Mr. Mad Dog.

  13. LesB

    How many times have I sat out a weekend because the weather report said “rain”, then I sat at home gazing at the blue skies.

  14. Erica

    I had surgery. Granted, the surgery was back in October, my physio sessions ended in January, and a completely clean bill of health awarded me in February. Regardless, surgery. Definitely my favorite excuse.

  15. Pingback: Friday Group Ride #162 : Red Kite Prayer

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