After a long hiatus from morning group rides, I made a commitment to a friend to join him on the Tuesday Coffee Crew ride. I felt good in the early part of the ride when the pace was easy. The pace on this ride usually picks up as we go around the old Marine Corps air base. Luckily I had good position and found good wheels to follow and kept hidden from the wind.
All was fine as we headed towards the last two climbs of the day Ridgeline and Newport Coast Dr. We turned onto Ridgeline and began the first climb. I was riding second wheel on the inside of a 2×2 pack. The climb is at about 7% grade and then has a false flat. As we neared the false flat the rider on my left surged ahead and I followed. I shifted up a couple of gears and the rider surged ahead again so I shifted to the big ring. I crept up too close and touched wheels. As you and I know very well, when your front wheel hits the rear wheel of the rider in front of you …YOU are going down — 99% of the time. I was no exception to that rule today.
I was completely embarrassed and apologetic to the rider I took down with me. He didn’t seem too happy and actually I think he was quite annoyed with me. I can understand the way he feels and publicly I say to you dude– I am sorry I took you down.
So what is the damage report? I was riding Rebecca, a bike that rarely gets ridden. I scraped both Dura Ace Shifters, tore my jersey, arm warmers and tore a small hole in my left knee warmer. Physically, I have road rash on my left shoulder, left elbow, left hip and left knee. But you know after all that the only thing that hurts is my pride. I hate going down and I hate when I involve other riders. This is the first time I have gone down in a group ride and I don’t like the way I feel about it. Additionally, I am not well-known within the group and so I have not established a reputation as a safe rider yet. The funny thing, in my haze from the crash, I can’t remember what the other rider looked like. I just hope he doesn’t cold cock me the next time he sees me.