Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Those Bikes"

After a few miles into our See Canyon loop ride we passed a couple of gentlemen a bit more senior than us on road racing bicycles. As we slow-pokishly passed them, one of the two sporting a polka dot jersey said, “ we'll draft you on the way up.” At our 3-5 miles per hour we smiled and gave the obligatory laugh and continued on our way.

See Canyon Road gently pitches upward for the first few miles and then becomes very steep as it winds up the canyon towards the crest. Before beginning our climb we stopped for water and a short discussion about the gearing that may be necessary for the climb. Having done this ride a few times before, I thought I would prepare my fellow rider for what was to come. As we were finishing our discussion the two we had previously passed could be heard as they approached. The riders stopped so that one of them could deal with a loose water bottle and at this point the polka dot jersey rider asked if we were going to the top. When I answered yes, he warned us that it might be too steep to attempt the ride on “those bikes”. I told him I had been up to the top a few times before and I was well aware of what awaited us.

After they departed and we continued our ride the joke for the rest of the outing in jest we refereed to our bicycles as “those bikes.” Was there something wrong with our bikes? Gee, I thought my mountain triple with the 12-34 cassette would be adequate for the task... Maybe the drop bars and the fenders threw him off. Or maybe fellow rider's bike with the upright bars and the basket on the front rack made him think we were a bit off.

About halfway up the grade, the two that passed had turned about and came flying down by us as we crawled up the grade at a brisk 3-4 miles per hour. Yes we had to stop a few times and yes we walked a little. Yes we are both over 200 pounds and yes we are riding 30+ pound bicycles. The panorama at the top looks the same to us as it did to the other two guys that were riding “those bikes.”  At least I know we stopped to take a look, I hope they did as well.

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