At the start of the ride in Shirlington the leader announced that this group wasn't the "Bad cyclists" - the kind who speed by you without warning. Here's some of the things I observed the good cyclists doing:
- Gathering for the pre-ride talk right in front of the entrance to the Shirlington Library, making it hard for patrons to get in and out of the building.
- Stopping traffic for extended period so the whole cycling group could cross together (cyclists always have the right of way, don't they?).
- Speeding by other trail users without warning.
- Ignoring traffic signs on the street and trail.
- Plunging full blast into a section of the Mt. Vernon Trail where you're supposed to dismount because it's really skinny and a blind curve, causing a cyclist coming the other way to leap off his bike to get out of our way.
- Swarming a couple's romantic picnic under a tree because we wanted shade on our break.
- Taking over a whole lane on Water Street.
- Turning into a chaotic, danger-to-ourselves group as we floundered about climbing the steep but short block from Water St. up to the canal.
- Misrepresenting a ride as a "Beginner Level", when (by the leader's admission post facto) it should have been Beginner+.
Cyclists are just an ill-behaved, loutish bunch,
That notwithstanding, it was a fun ride. It's a little weird to be the newbie riding with a group, but most of the folks were at least somewhat friendly.
The cycling world is full of gimmick rides. Today's was a "Cupcake Ride". The idea was to ride from Shirlington to Georgetown to get cupcakes from the famous Georgetown Cupcakes. The cupcake order had been prearranged so once we got there it was a quick pickup. Thirty riders, each having ordered 1-3 cupcakes made for a big order - lots of big boxes of cupcakes.
|The cupcakes had the group's logo on them!|
|MAMILs eating cupcakes|
We took a break to eat our cupcakes by the canal, then it was time to head home. Because of the large size of the group we broke up in both directions into two groups of roughly 15 cyclists. On the way back the leader of my group picked up the pace to the point where, at a break, some people complained about his speed. So after the break he really took their comments to heart and slowed down -- kidding! -- he's a cyclist, and cyclists are d*cks! He continued riding just as fast as he had been before the break, all the way back to Shirlington.
By the time we got back it was after 5 and I was due home for dinner so I skipped the post-ride drink and headed home.
Don't pay too much attention to my kvetching - the ride was a fun time.
And my choice of cupcake was "carrot cake".
|Oh, good Lord. I have given in to peer pressure and am wearing a bike jersey (admittedly, a tasteful solid color affair made of merino wool, rather than the garish synthetic kind such as the one modeled by Gary, in the foreground).|