Riding with the B Group

July 20 2019On Friday, the topic of bucket lists came up. After some discussion and some correction, they asked me about mine and I explained that I don’t really have a lengthy bucket list, bur rather a lot of smaller interim goals.   When all of them said that they wanted to travel around the world, I explained that I wanted to decide on where I should have my next vacation–for the record it is either riding from Prague to Budapest in August, or going to the lake district of Chile and Argentina in December–I welcome any advice on this.  I might have to make it Monday morning’s blog in hopes of receiving some useful advice.

I am starting to digress.

One of my interim goals was to become a solid B rider with the Newmarket Eagles. Today, in spite of the incredible humidity, I took a step in that direction.  I went out with the B group for a variety of reasons.  I knew who was leading the B group and I felt confident that I could keep up with them.  Also, the C group looked like it was only going to do about 40 kilometres, or less and I wanted to go a bit longer.  Additionally, I thought to myself, if not now, when?  So, today was the day.

For the most part, I had no trouble keeping up. The big difference between the groups seems to be that the B group can keep together a lot better than the C group.  We were able to maintain a social pace line above 30kms an hour, each taking turns at the front for the entire ride out to the lake.  I didn’t feel like we were going too fast, but it required a bit of concentration.

I was quite happy with my decision.

The way back was not as crisp as the way there. One rider fell back and someone stayed with him.  When we were nearing home, the group split to pursue their own routes.  The group I was with dropped me like a bad penny (strange expression that one.  I wonder what the modern equivalent is?).

Once I lost the draft, I had to face the headwind all by myself and it was a slow ride home. My feet started aching and I struggled to maintain any pace.  I also had to contend with a broken cleat, but that was small potatoes.  It just gives me a task to do this week.

Nearing my home, I remembered that I had slipped the remnants of my Starbucks gift card into my cycling jersey. I had used most of it when I met Sarah Warsi, but maybe I had enough for a cool down drink.


I went into the Starbucks and started a conversation with the staff. One young lady was completely blown away by the distance I traveled.  She really couldn’t believe it.  I tried to explain that the B+ and A groups went much farther and much faster but she was too shell shocked to believe it.  Maybe I have made a bike convert out of her.

My drink–whatever it was–tasted quite good. I saw it as a reward for finally taking that step.  I don’t think I am a solid B rider yet, but I have more confidence, and my ambition is renewed.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in 2019, achievement, advice, ambition, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, bicycles, cycling, cycling gear, cycling shoes, Exodus Travels, fitness, goals, group rides, Newmarket Eagles, travel, travel tips, vacation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Riding with the B Group

  1. Jinjer says:

    Well done!!! And a well-deserved cool-down drink at the end! I can’t even imagine riding such a distance, even in cool weather.

  2. retrodee says:

    That’s weird. I had a dream Starbucks had this new red tea with coffee grounds in it. If you wanted the decaf, you had to get the white one. I miss Starbucks but I don’t drink caffeine anymore. I don’t know how you bike so much in one day either! Right on. 🙂

  3. Congrats on the step up! It’s always scary at first, but well worth it. The added group riding skills of the bunch are enough for an extra few mph, plus of course the stronger legs. I always liked the “B” groups as they skilled enough to ride a decent paceline at speed while while still being social enough for a chat at times!

  4. Perhaps a bad penny in today’s urgency is a poor loonie – very Canadian though.
    Great inspiration although I still have not replaced my bike!
    I had considered going to the shop one of my daughters recently started to work at to look into building a bike as well as learn how to care for a bike. Sadly, they had a fire on July 1st. Plans are to reopen but even in Victoria the season will have slowed down by the time that happens.

  5. Ron Rehel says:

    Hey Anthony. Best way to get better is to ride with stronger riders. The B group is one of the best examples of tight riding. They figure out everyone in the group and then set that “magic” pace. Sounds like you made a big step in the right direction to improve your speed and most importantly — focus. As you go faster, you have to focus more. Good job. Keep onledalin’

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