Riding with CF since 2010
RideWithGPS: Rob's RidewithGPS.com Ride Library
Strava: Rob's Strava Profile
Best Weather Sites:
Mantras to Ride By
“Look down and it's all flat.” – Rowland Fellows
“Using your small ring is cheating!” – Ozero "Oz" Lee
“It never gets easier, you just go faster.” – Greg LeMond
“Shut Up Legs! – Jens Voigt
I started riding in August of 2010 and by September of 2010 I had enough experience to ride my first Century. Up to that point in time my longest ride happened in Elk Grove, was 50 miles, and had around 350 feet of climbing. The ride I decided would be perfect for my first century was the 2010 Cyclebration which was 100 miles (102 for me with bonus miles) and 7100 feet of climbing. Not only was I completely ill prepared for the distance I really had no understanding how 7,100 feet of climbing would impact my body. I finished the ride in 7 hours and 13 minutes with an average speed of 14.2 mph. During the ride I thought about quitting numerous times. But then it happened--I hit that perfect road, surrounded by the sound of running water, birds chirping, all under a crystal blue canvas. That road was Millertown Road, today it is still one of my favorites. Although I was tired and the temperature was 102 degrees I felt a chill down my spine and realized this is why I ride. The remaining cramp filled miles went as well as could be expected, but I finished.
After that century I decided I would seek out a club to ride with and learn from. After looking at all of the local jerseys on the web I knew two things--The only option was Cycle Folsom and that most cyclists are colorblind. It only took a few rides with the CF Gruppetto group for me to realize I had made the right choice. After a couple more months of riding with the Gruppetto riders I decided it was time to try my luck with a Peloton ride. Boy did I have the speed to blast off the front of the group, but I never had a clue where we were going. It wasn't long before I learned two things... Krysta LOVES to speed up the pace of the Peloton when you miss a turn and the nickname "Wrong Way Rob" was going to stick unless I started paying attention to the routes. To improve I started studying the routes the night before Krysta's rides. I also started loading the route on my Garmin and printed a turn by turn sheet for my bars. It wasn't long before I was able to follow the route, but then I realized I had a second problem. I was not very good at holding a steady speed while at the front of the Peloton. It took me another two or three months of constant practice before I could hold a set pace and cadence.
So am I done learning? Not by a long shot! In July of 2011 I crashed during a descent on Cold Springs Road. Since that event I have been slowly building up my descending confidence. On the plus side, my climbing has improved greatly since I often have to chase the group following any type of technical descent.
After two and a half years of riding with Cycle Folsom I have learned those spine tingling moments aren't always triggered by your surroundings. In fact I find I now define the perfect ride by a number of different criteria. There is the perfect ride when you are riding with a group of people that just click both socially and in skill level. There is also the perfect ride when you get a fast group together and you are pushed to the edge of your abilities, but somehow hang on. No matter how you define "the perfect ride", I find they always seem to be tied to a Cycle Folsom event.