Spinning with the Greenville Spinners
Ride or Race, you decide
OK. It’s Tuesday evening and you decide to do the local bike ride. You drive out to the airport industrial park, in this case, in Greenville, SC. You’re 45 minutes early and there’s already 100 riders there. Vehicles loaded with bikes continue to pull in. Groups of people ride in. You unload your bike and finish suiting up. You roll around and at about 6PM start order begins to be announced.There’s about 200 people there. No, it’s not a special event, it’s JUST the Tuesday night ride. And, yes, you know you’re in for something special.
Rides are 24, 32, 39 & 46 miles in length and graded ( starting with 1A). 1A is the rip your legs off and lungs out, thanks for joining us guys and gals, ride through the countryside. Slower, but just as unforgiving is the next group – 1B. Then 2A, 2B, 3, 4, and 5. And if that’s not enough, there are 2 groups of circuit racers. Pro,1 & 2 in the really fast group and 3, 4 & 5′s in the slower group. The circuit racers have a police escort and race 6 – 7 & 1/2 mile loops around the airport. There are ride leaders for the numbered rides, which leave at 3 minute intervals. Riders go through the very hilly countryside (6 & 7% grades with a 11% at the end) and have gathering points. Group 5 is a no one left behind ride.
Ron rode the 1A and said it was “all that I could handle”. 45 – 50 riders started in that group and 20 were left at the finish. They had 3 gathering points and sprinted to the top of every hill. There were no flats. As they entered airport property for a final circuit the ride leader yelled “you’re on your own”. At that point the Big Dogs came to the front and tried to drop anyone left. The final sprint was a stop sign near the parking lot.
I rode with the 2B group and it was all I could handle. They raced up and down all the hills and, except for one time, the only time I got to drink was at the gathering points. 35 riders started in 2B and we picked up some riders off the back of 2A. About half way through, we were down to the final 20 finishers in our group. The wind that we deal with constantly in Florida builds up your stamina and lessens recovery time. It’s not the perfect solution for the no hills riding we do, but, it does help.
We both feel like we’ve hit a flat on a 2 or 3% grade now. (Geez, wonder how long that will last. Probably not long enough.)
This Tuesday night Greenville Spinners ride could certainly take your training up a notch or two.
Greenville wants to promote itself as a cycling mecca. And, it seems to be doing a very good job of that. So, if you’re visiting, take in a local ride. There is literally one every day and many for all abilities.
Cheryl, I Bike Two