I had a good time riding with Dave, formerly known as DTP, and Jim, aka Pack Fodder. I had not ridden with Jim before, other than at a cyclocross race and that doesn't really count. He expressed his excitement about riding with me finally after about 9 months of attempting to hook up. I was just happy that someone wanted to ride with me.
We met at a Starbucks near his place and I had Dave meet us there as well. Jim led out since I didn't know where we were going. After about 20-something miles of Jim fronting the ride, I don't remember if Jim asked me to take a pull or not, but I went to the front. I was more than willing to do so--I just didn't know where in the heck I was.
I apparently took a strong pull because after only 5 miles or so I was asked to step aside by Jim. I have a hard time knowing how hard to go--I want to make sure that the others are working and not just coasting, but I don't want to drop anyone. Apparently, I was going a bit too fast. I was tired but I figured I was supposed to suffer if I was the one doing the pulling. The others get to rest a bit while still going a good clip. At least that was my intention.
Later Dave got to take a turn at the front. Jim almost learned the hard way that you don't follow Dave too close when drafting. For one, he doesn't signal when there are potholes or glass. That is not a big deal, neither he nor I ride in groups much and he and both have started to catch on to this sort of etiquette. However, the main danger with Dave's riding style is such that he could easy take out a drafting rider. He rides like a fish down the road. As he pedals he moves his shoulders from side to side. This causes him to rock the handlebars just a bit with every motion of his shoulders. He front wheels moves back and forth about 3 to 5 inches with every revolution of his crankset when he is in his normal rhythm. The whole bike sort of swims like a fish down the road, moving a bit from side to side. Sometimes it was only a couple of inches but it was worse when he was putting more effort into the pedals. One time he swerved pretty good and just about took Jim out. Jim backed off a couple more feet after that. Dave, even after we talked about it, could not seem to hold a straight line. His body does this motion automatically.
Dave style doesn't bug me. I know to keep my distance for the most part. After Jim knew what to expect, I doubt it bugged him either. Still, Dave is a funny cat. We were riding past a point where he ran off the road once on to the soft shoulder and bailed at 20mph. After watching him swim up the road it is sort of understandable. Dave said that a car was involved, but I am suspicious.
At another point when Dave was leading I decided to be a jerk and do a little breakaway action. We going of a little incline and I sensed a lull in Dave and Jim and I dropped a couple of gears stood up and shouted "Breakaway!" and waited to see of anyone followed. Jim tried but I had way too good of a jump. Nothing better than beating up on friends that had no idea that there was any sort of competition going on. I don't know why I did it, I just thought it would be a fun sort of jerky thing to do. And it was.
At the end, it was a great ride. Jim pushed me to my limit one a few rollers and up one moderate hill/peak. It is hard to keep up when they both are 40 pounds lighter than I am. They will make excuses as to why there is not much difference between them and I, but the fact is that this fatty suffers when climbing and it is all weight related. If I dropped back down to what I was last September or October I would be feeling a bit better about things. That means I need to drop 10 pounds. Seems do-able.
P.S. I order more parts for the Cernitz today. I am lacking a chain, a rear ss cog, tires, seatpost and pedals. That is about it. I should also buy another set of wheels, but I could probably get away with out them. I also need to line a place to paint the bike when it is done. I have decided on colors though. No, I am not saying what they are yet.