Lesson Learned: Don’t Drop Other Riders on a No Drop Ride

I can’t believe I did it. I’m not proud of what happened on Saturday. I dropped a rider on a “no-drop” ride.

The morning was an off morning to begin with and seemed to get more off kilter as it went along. I’d woken up at 4:30 with racing thoughts about work that forced me to move to the couch and then to finally get up and do some work at 5:30. Around 6:30 I tweeted that I needed to go for a bike ride. I got an almost immediate reply from @chespksailor “rusty bridge 7:30. Phone optional”. It was just what I needed.

A bagel ride with the group into Annapolis. Roughly 30 miles give or take, breakfast, some conversation, and a break from the internet. Our ride started at the appointed place at the appointed time but got derailed when we got do the junction of the B&A trail and Arnold Road. The trail was closed for a race.

After a bit of course correcting, we ended up at Cravings in Cape Saint Claire for breakfast. A good meal and a nice change of pace. The plan was to ride out to Sandy Point and then back through Saint Margarets.

As we found our way down to Sandy Point we were averaging 17-18 mph when a few folks pulled ahead of the leader and the pace picked up from 18 mph to 23 mph. Gradually one by one everyone moved forward and I found myself at the tail of the pace line instead of second in the line. I thought that it was time to move forward and let R. have a breather, benefiting from a pull. I didn’t know he wasn’t strong enough to keep up. And, more importantly I didn’t look back until it was too late.

He was gone from sight.

Even though I’ve since emailed with R. and he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, I’m not happy with myself. I know better. I’ve been the guy who was dragging ass and fell behind. I’ve been lucky that in most cases, folks have turned around to check on me. I didn’t do that and that’s not cool.

It’s been a while since I rode consistently with the group. Maybe I’ve forgotten some things about what it means to ride in a group. Maybe I just was being a dick.

I’ll do better next time.

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