Friday Group Ride #59

Despite all the hullabaloo surrounding the Contador verdict and the Armstrong retirement, I really, really, really needed to focus this week’s Group Ride on something cycling-related, rather legalistic, medicinal or scientific. This need derives not so much from a lack of interest in the former, but rather in a desire to push back the tide of outrage and despair as regards our sport at its pointiest end.

You see, I rode my bicycle this morning. After my plaintive cry of a post earlier in the week, I have been gifted some good weather. Flesh has seen sunlight. Vitamin D has been absorbed. It’s not yet Spring really, but we’ve been given a taste, and for that I am thankful.

So rather than roll around in the misery and controversy, I thought we should talk about riding bikes. After all, as I sped (oh, yes, I sped) across town on my faithful Torelli, neither Alberto nor Lance was riding shotgun. I encountered no blood bags or McQuaids. Cycling, it must be said, doesn’t depend on any of those persons or things.

And so, with all due apology to our readers in the Southern Hemisphere, this week’s Group Ride asks: What are you looking forward to this spring? Is it a long ride, a return to regular training? A big race perhaps? Have you allowed yourself to utter the names Het Volk or Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne yet? Has razor met leg? Is there a new bike in your near future?

Share your hopes and dreams with us. Wax optimistic. Start now.

Image: John Pierce, Photosport International

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  1. Chad Nordwall

    Nice post and I agree. What really hooked my on riding was watching LeMond in the 89 tour, but neither that or any other pro race/rider is the reason I stayed on the bike…
    Doing my first race in quite a while this Sunday, Pine Flat in the Yosemite Foothills, pretty stoked! Not really looking past that…

  2. mike

    Shorts. All I want right now is to be able to wear shorts. Then I can worry about all the big events I’ve got on my calendar this summer.

  3. Touriste-Routier

    You just opened the door up to shameless self promotion, so I won’t feel the need to apologize about it.

    5 years ago I began organizing some spring classic rides in PA/NJ. The Hell of Hunterdon and the Fools Classic are my dirt road tributes to the Flemish Classics. New this year is the Fleche Buffoon, an Ardennes tribute. All the courses are more challenging than Battenkill, but they are not races, and the suffering is tempered with a festive atmosphere.

    I am really looking forward to riding them this year, as well as being called a sick SOB by those around me. After such a rough winter, these are really going to be tough.

  4. craig

    wore short ss jersey and no gloves on this afternoon’s ride. I look forward to doing that every day (mornings included), not just on freak weather days. I also look forward to long rides on roads free of sand and gaping holes. Roads I an bomb down without the fear that a patch of ice or new pothole is waiting to greet me at the bottom or on a curve. I look forward to the return of my regular group rides.

  5. randomactsofcycling

    Southern Hemisphere piping in here. Not so much with Spring goals but annual ones.
    I have booked a cycling trip to Italy in May/June that I have wanted to do with my club for 4 years. I bit the bullet and this is the year. Stelvio, Ghisallo, Col de la Bonnette: I am itching for it now!

  6. Jeff L

    Living in so cal I’m very spoiled, especially in my hometown being just over the hill from Malibu! Anyway I’m training for the AToC Clairmont to Mt Baldy ride in May, gonna be tough!

  7. Marco Placero

    Already raced a few here in Northern California, those early-season races that group rides can’t match for intensity. Merco Road Race coming up, then Central Coast #3.
    Targets? Copperopolis maybe; Wente April; Pescadero June.
    Dream? Cinelli XCR.

  8. todd k

    Going to Palm Springs in a week! Looking forward to a LOT of time in the saddle and feeling like I actually ride a bike again.

  9. Steve

    Tax return = new bike. Racing on an ’02 Lemond has been great, but for the first time in my life, my sports equipment is actually holding me back. I’m not expecting a mechanical or physiological revolution through it all, but simply harmony between me and my bike.

  10. Bartali

    Last weekend it was almost 50 degrees and just wearing a long sleeve jersey and leg warmers instead of the winter tights and Airjack felt liberating. It was enough spring fever that I shaved my legs in anticipation for the spring and riding in shorts with a little embro shine on the legs. Today it was in the 30s so it was back to the Airjack and winter tights but the quality of the sunlight is more like spring sun then winter sun. More anticipation. I registered for four hilly gran fondo rides in southwest Wisconsin this summer and booked the hotel rooms.

  11. Armybikerider

    I’m looking forward to green trees and grass…….the feel of sweat on my face from a hard effort……the physically tired feeling from riding everyday of the week…seeing other riders on the roads around FT Campbell to give me something to chase…..and I’m looking forward to the second iteration of the Fly TN Gran Fondo this Fall!

  12. JK

    I noticed the change in light a week ago. The bulbs, on the side of the house that get the most sun, have grown two inches. The air is a little sweeter. The birds are waking me up now, not the alarm. I’ve been screening past editions of the Ardennes classics over breakfast for the past month. The cx bike has been broken down, cleaned, re-assembled, and stowed. I’ve met the team. I’ve inked in my training rides on the calendar hanging on the refrigerator. Target races have been inked in red. Regardless of what the ledger will read in September, I really enjoy this time of year.

  13. csbaehr

    I am looking forward to several things this spring. I haven’t thrown a leg over my bike this whole winter because i decided to switch things up and train for a half marathon to get me through the off season rather than building base miles. The marathon will come and go in a couple of weeks and it’s back to the bike, probably for good. Also i am getting my wife into cycling by overhauling a beautiful barely ridden celeste green Bianchi i got for her. I have really missed riding, wrenching, and training. My goal this year is to compete in crit races rather than doing only century rides and what not. Best of all I can’t wait until my favorite three weeks of the year roll around in July! AS and AC toe to toe again?…Sure hope so.

  14. Brett

    I have to say three things this spring:

    1. Sunshine on my shoulders(makes me happy).

    2. New bike (yep, tax refund).

    3. More paragraphs as good as the third in this group ride. Some of the best/truest/most inspiring words I’ve read in a long time. Thank you!

    1. Padraig

      It would seem I’m hoping for many of the same things as each of you.

      That said, powder days may be the single best argument against the bike.

      Here’s to hoping everyone ends up with a really fat tax refund.

  15. Solo Echelon

    Winter rapidly approaching in the southern hemisphere. No problem. 21st century thermals, Protour on TV and two wheelsets due to be built at home is enough to tie me over.

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