Murphy’s Law Bike Ride

Road Biking / Uncategorized

You know those days were nothing seems to be going your way? Finally, it comes a point where the situation is so ridiculous that it becomes absolutely comical. Here is my latest story of this experience!

On Sunday, March 4, my coach Lee Gardner from Trismarter and I rode with the group ride in Colorado Springs. It was only my second time ever riding with this group so lucky not too many people know my name, yet. However, after the series of events that occurred that mid-morning and the first impression most of the riders now have of me, I am sure I will be well known around the group. J
Since it was an absolutely gorgeous day, a big group of riders congregated in front of the Starbucks off North Tejon Street. As I was standing there waiting for the ride to officially begin it dawned on me that the bike route was through the Air Force Academy and you have to have an I.D. to get through the gate. I completely forgot my I.D. and since Lee and I rode about 30 minutes to get to the group ride there was no way for me retrieve it in time. Lee and I were hopeful that I would get onto base without an I.D. and so we jumped in the pace line to the academy.
The group at this point was about 40 people, so very large. Riding in a pace line with people you’re not familiar with can always be interesting because you never know what their bike handling skills are and if they will point out things in the road, since you cannot see around them, the riders in the front are the eyes for the rest of the group and if one person doesn’t signal properly it can lead to a disastrous crash, looking like a domino effect of several riders.  
Lee and I were riding in the middle to back of the group as we approached a bridge and right as I hit the lip of the bridge my tool bag fell of the back of the bike, making several of the riders having to swerve to miss it.  Luckily, no one hit it and after everyone in the group passed by, I and went back to pick it up but at this point Lee and I had to push to re-catch the group.  Once back in the group not even five minutes later I hit another bump on the road and one of my water bottles which sits on the back of my seat post went flying out, causing ruckus in the pack as cyclist maneuvered around it, again I waited for the group to pass before retrieving my water bottle.  I thought to myself that is really weird, place it back in the cage and surged to rejoin the group. There was a slight hill so I passed a few people and then it was a slight downhill on an extremely bumpy road and right as I hit the bottom of the hill not only did one of my bottles but both of them went flying out of the cages from the back of my saddle screwing up both pace lines, now people were getting pretty upset, rightful so and started cursing. I wanted to die at this point. Lee was telling me to just leave them but I knew we had 3 hours of riding ahead of us and I would never make it without hydration so again I went back and gathered them up but now we were almost to the academy and several seconds behind the group. Lee and I knew we had to be in the middle of the group if there was anyway of me getting through the gate without an I.D. so we hammered but as we crested the hill that takes you into the South Gate we could see all the riders had already made their way through except for about two riders. I rode up to the gate and immediately the lady was a real stickler and it was apparent I wasn’t getting in without an I.D,. easily.
Lee and I told the group to go without us yet again as we figured out how I could possibly get on base. Luckily, there is a number you can call and if you get the right person they can let you on. I must say I was pretty lucky because after 5 minutes of talking to a General I was let onto the base. At this point, Lee turned to me and said you are going to have to ride a new 20 minute FTP in order to re-catch up to the group. I was so frazzled that the first few minutes I couldn’t get into a groove. Lee and I took one minute pulls and somehow we were able to catch back up, I am sure everyone was super excited to see that I was back… J
The next 45 minutes were pretty uneventful thank goodness but the fun wasn’t over yet. The bike route goes through the academy and then into some neighborhoods and then finishes up in Garden of the God’s at which point you can head home or add more miles by going into Manitou Springs. The neighborhood section has some good climbs and descents. I was back in a group of about 4 males on one of the descents and every time I would hit a crack in the road my bike would make this load creak, which made me a little concerned. Then on a major descent, I was laying on my aero bars when out of now where my hands went from parallel to the ground to almost vertical almost instantly. Somehow, my screw on my aero bar was becoming loose which caused the bars to rotate all the way down towards my wheel. At this point, I just had to start laughing. I rode up one of the hills with my bars titled completely forward and as I passed one of the males he remarked to me that this ride was extremely humbling to him and I was thinking to myself if only he know the half of it! J After another descent it was apparent that this was extremely unsafe to continue riding like this so I stopped again and as Lee rode up next to me I am sure he was thinking to himself, now what could it possibly be Danielle. But he was so nice and saw the issue. Again, another luck moment not even two seconds later a cyclist rode by and stopped to fix my bars.  I finished up the ride and rode back to my car which was in public parking space at an apartment complex to find a note lying on the wind shield saying, “We know you do not live at this apartment complex and if we see you parked here again we will have you towed.” =) Oh yes, it even had the smiley face. I completely burst out into laughter, what a day!
Looking back it was a great ride which caused me to work on my surging, my weakest part of cycling and since no one got hurt it is pretty funny. I would have never thought so much could go wrong in one ride.

Danielle Mack is professional Triathlete residing in Boulder, Colorado. She found her passion for triathlons at a young age. However, it wasn’t until she turned sixteen did she really start training strictly for triathlons. Through various paths God has lead her through the years including Xterra’s and Adventure Racing she discovered her ultimate love, long course triathlons, especially Ironman’s!