domingo, 24 de julio de 2022

I want my money back

A rant ahead, be warned.

GC Denis had put up the ride as “K1.5 to Windsor via Twyford - just under 100km”

The start of the ride was at Old Kings Head (OKH) instead of the traditional Sunday club starting point at Laithwaite’s (LW) . A cheeky way of confusing me and making me late. Even worse, to make me ride 5 extra kilometers and getting me even more tired than I was feeling when I jumped on the bike.

The post said “just under 100km” and my ride was 111 kilometers.

As close as Hampton Court, Denis got lost.

The coffee stop at Twyford was closed. So we had to ride 5 extra kilometers to get coffee at Wargrave. Did I mention I was tired? Well, by the time we made it to Twyford I was also hungry and craving for coffee. 

Is this enough to ask for my money back?

Wait there is more.

The ride was K1.5. A code for “let’s ride as fast as we can while pretending we are friends”. Richard L. has signed up for it and I was happy about it. He would bring some sense to the pace. Sense that I really needed because, as you know, I was feeling really tired.

In the morning I learnt Richard L. was not coming. At the start point (OKH, don’t get confused) I learnt Ed van der Poel was joining the ride. Forget about any sense in the pace. I almost cried there and then. I was so tired!

And then there was the wind…

Look it is ok to order wind for a ride you organize but when one does that you order head wind on the way out and nice tail wind on the way back. What did we get today? Wind all over the place all day. To make things worse Denis is so aero that you don’t get any benefit drafting him. I had to constantly pay attention and make sure I was sitting behind Ed van der Poel to get some cover.

Of course that is a challenge in itself. Imagine yourself having to pass any van der Poel to give him a turn in the front. You need an effort that will make lactic acid come out of your eyes. And I was tired!!

Can I please get my money back?

It’s only fair. What kind of experience did I get?

Denis took the sprints at Twyford, Wargrave and Drift rd. Let that sink for a minute. 

One joins a club run hoping to have a good experience and “GC” Denis takes three sprints. I didn’t pay to ride with someone that is transforming himself into another Pogacar.

To make my experience more miserable at some point we passed a group of Kingston Wheelers. They were riding at what looked like a K3 pace (Club pace for those not initiated). They looked so relaxed, so chatty, they were even smiling. 

I felt ride envy. That was the experience I could have had and instead of that I was hanging at the back of the trio for my dare life. Things were getting hot because we were getting close to the final sprint.

As always I did everything well. In the last meters I was sitting on Ed’s wheel and had Denis sitting on mine. I was paying attention to a potential attack from Ed from the front, something you always have to have in mind when you have a van der Poel in the front. I was also paying attention to a potential attack from Denis, now that I considered him a sprinter I had to take him into account.

At the right point I attacked…

And none of them contested the sprint.

If we are sprinting we are all sprinting. If we don’t sprint none of us sprints. Me sprinting WHEN I WAS ON TIRED LEGS and no one else sprinting is a terrible experience.


I’m going to report Denis to the committee for terrible road captain performance. I’m pretty sure he is going to be banned from organizing Kingston Wheelers rides for a few weeks. He’ll be missed but I hope when he is back he has reflected on his sins (and stops taking sprints).

The ride in Strava:

Take care

Javier Arias González

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