domingo, 26 de mayo de 2024

A successful ride

 That, even if JFW showed up for part of the ride.

Also despite making sure one of the riders got a puncture before we got to Hampton Court.

The only ride review in the Kington Wheelers forum highlighted as a factor of success that we had a “nearly dry morning”. A four stars review I guess.

We only lost two riders half way into the ride. Six riders is a big enough group so we carried on.

A successful ride even if I had no idea where we were going to have the coffee stop. I had a moment of panic when one rider asked where the coffee stop was (tell me you haven’t been in one of my rides without telling me you have been in one of my rides…). Twyford I answered full of (fake) confidence. I knew that much because that was the name of the route but I had no idea what the coffee stop was. I was betting the success of the ride on recognising a coffee shop as we rode by. And it worked! I recognised a coffee shop on the left hand side and we stopped there. Everyone thought that was part of the plan.

I felt relieved when the two lost riders showed up at the cafe with smiles on their faces. We extended the stop to make sure they didn’t complain about the ride captain. Even if that goes against my “efficient stop Audax ethos”. The things one does for a successful ride.

A success that was under thread when we got ready to get back on the road. It turns out one of the riders had a puncture. We got back to the table. Everyone seemed happy and relaxed about it so the success of the ride was not in danger. Now, me and my “efficient stop Audax ethos” were at the edge of a nervous breakdown. 

It was a surprise to find out the ride back had Drift Road in the menu. A great opportunity to practice a bit of through and off. I started to shout short sentences, most of them including the word “easy” or “steady”, as if I knew what I was doing. Miraculously the rest of the group managed to ignore me and stay together despite my incoherent instructions. I didn’t lose the opportunity to tell everyone how great that was. Sometimes you have to hint to your clients the value your service is bringing to the table.

Now, when I say a successful ride I mean a successful ride for everyone else. There is no way it can be a successful ride for me after losing the two sprints. Fifth at Old Windsor. Fifth even if I still don’t know where the line is. Third at the final sprint. Third, even if only Rupert and I know where the line is… and Ruper was not riding today. 

I faked happiness as we were saying our goodbyes in a desperate attempt to get everyone in a positive mood. 

I checked the forum in desperation. Looking for the judges sentence.

Thanks Javier for leading a great ride to Ola cafe today. Good pace control and very very enjoyable. Thanks everyone for making it a safe , fun, and nearly dry morning!

I was so happy…

I now know the name of the cafe at Twyford. The Ola cafe!!!

A successful ride now for me as well.

The ride in Strava:

Take care of yourself

Javier Arias González

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