Friday, December 23, 2011

Morning Ride Coordination

While I love the time alone on my bike, I find that riding in a group is much more fun.  In a group you get to push each other at different spots in the ride, you can cruise and talk smack, maybe even get some business done.  Coordinating morning rides is usually super easy.  “What time shall I meet you and where?”
Below is an example of a texting exchange - between three guys - showing how coordinating a morning ride can go horribly wrong.

MM:  Thurs, 10.56am.  Who’s riding in tomorrow?  32 degrees at 7am today?
Me:  Thurs, 10.56am.  In.  If we wait til 7.15, we wont need lights
MM: Thurs 10.59am.  Fine with me.  Confirmed.

Wait … change of plans

KK: Thurs, 2.42pm.  Im riding tomorrow but have to leave by 630
MM:  Thurs, 2.50pm.  Matt – push off my house at 625 or fire station at 630?
Me:  Thurs, 4.41pm.  Id prefer to sleep in, but Im good.  Driveway at 625.
KK:  Thurs, 4.42pm.  See u there

All is good.  I am well fed, drank a glass of wine and have a ride scheduled for the morning.  Nighty-night.  I jump in bed and pull the covers over my head at about 10.15pm.  Case closed, right?  Not so fast.

Wake up at 6.10am with plenty of time to spare.  Brush my teeth, get dressed (many layers), kiss the wife and hit the road (yes, I know I should eat before I ride.  That conversation is for another post).  Upon pulling into my buddy’s driveway, I see his house unusually dark.  Two minutes later, without any movement detected, I get suspicious.  Crap.  Take off the gloves, take off the helmet, take off the beanie, take off the plastic jacket, take off the backpack.  Unzip the backpack and pull out my cell phone and check the texts.

KK: Thurs, 10.26pm.  Hey guys, just drove home and its already 32 degrees.  Gonna be in the 20s in the AM.  I’m out.  Will wait til afternoon to ride after work.
MM:  Thurs, 11:38pm.  Matt – KK is out.  715 instead.

Great .. Now what?!?

Me:  Fri, 6.26am.  Dude … Im in your driveway.
Me:  Fri, 6.28am.  Lame.  I’ll head home.  Back in 45.
Me:  Fri, 6.29am.  Actually, Im going in now.  Don’t want to wake everyone in the house.  Next time.

I know.  I need to check my phone before I leave in the morning to prevent situations just like these.  These guys are usually Johnny-On-The-Spot and today was a freak incident.  I guess I just have to laugh.  No worries.   

Regardless, it was a perfect morning ride.  Crisp (the nice way of saying “freezing”) but clear.  Upon reaching the San Francisco side of the Bridge, I saw a bicyclist on the side of the bike path so I slowed to ask him if he needed anything.  Without speaking, he smiled, held up his camera and pointed back at the Golden Gate.  The guy was waiting for the sun to rise over the Oakland Hills so he could get the perfect light for his picture of the Bridge.  Epic.  Yet another reason why I ride.

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