That guy…

You know the guy who shows up to a club ride on an expensive bike, yet gets shelled in the first hour? The guy with carbon wheels and a beer gut? Yeah, that was me on today’s ride.

February isn’t a good month for many people. The winter doldrums have just passed here in Florida, and people are starting to show up for rides. Fitness is low, but the excitement for the new season is palpable. Those few who have spent the winter cross training or stuck indoors on a trainer–or those who never stopped riding–are out and dominating the rides.

I showed up on this today:

Moots Compact SL - Side View

This is my “regular” ride, a Moots Compact SL. She’s my favorite bike and the one I would keep if I could only own one bicycle. Normally she’s decked out in white DT Swiss 1850s, but I figured I’d toss on the Mavic carbon clinchers–albeit heavy carbon clinchers (aluminum rim with a carbon fairing)–just to play with them.

I assumed I’d probably get some grief about them, and sure enough, the comment came, “You had to bring your carbon wheels for this ride?” It doesn’t matter that these things weigh more than the aluminum clinchers the commenter was riding, I was riding carbon wheels on a club ride. This is a serious faux-pas, which immediately lumps you into the poseur category. In this case, it was a well-deserved categorization.

The ride started pretty well, but a few of the hard cases pushed the tempo quite a bit about 10 miles out. If you were on the ride, you may well argue that it wasn’t so much pushing as it was simply riding. However, in my addled brain, it was pushing. It was damned near attacking, in fact. Of course, I suck, so what do I know? A few rolling hills at tempo and I was out the back, looking for the second group. Luckily, they didn’t catch me until I stopped for water, which probably makes it easier to pass off as something other than simple crappy riding. However, I was now riding a carbon/Ti bike in the midst of the helmet-mirror and windbreaker crowd. One guy–who was amazingly strong by the way–was even riding in a t-shirt and running shoes. Running shoes.

Running shoes.

So, Mr. Tour de France-wannabe on his super rig was now firmly in poseur territory. Wallowing in it. Reveling in his mediocrity on his expensive bike. Luckily, no one was talking much. Only a comment about my “extra poundage” and my Fat Cyclist jersey (WIN SUSAN!) made it by. I looked good in photographs, I’m sure. I turned off at Crump Road and headed for home, as I had ridden from home to the ride start. It was blessed relief.

Still, I’ll probably do it again. I likes me some carbon wheels.

Moral: Spend less, ride more.

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