Monday, June 6, 2011

Getting the Recipe Right

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." 
 Julia Child

Two Wheel Transit started hosting shop rides last season with participation building through the summer.  The ride is every Thursday night at 5:30 pm and covers road and centennial trail out to 7-mile bridge and back - same route every time.  Then we added post ride pizza once a month from a variety of pizza places. The grand finale in September had almost 50 riders who consumed 110 slices of David's Pizza afterward.

We considered adding other routes from concern that the same ride every week would get old and people would lose interest.  We realized that the concern was unfounded because though the same route, each ride is different.  We never know who is going to show-up and each ride has a different feel and character based on the combination of riders each week.  So same route, different ride every week.  

Sometimes we have just the racy types who push each other and finish close to an hour.  Other times we see the less experienced riders who take it at a more leisurely pace.  Then there are rides where you have racy, intermediate and leisurely all at the same time.   Since every ride is no-drop, the faster groups alway stop and wait until everyone is caught back-up.  The Team Two Wheel riders do a great job of keeping tabs on the various groups and will drop back or speed up to check on each frequently.  

It is always a glorious sight for the last rider to see the entire ride waiting for them at the top of Doomsday Hill where everyone can catch their breath.  Only then does the entire group ride the rest of the way to the one and only Two Wheel Transit location on 1st Avenue.

One time, as reported in A Night of Firsts we had tri-bikes, road bikes and mountain bikes all riding together.  This combination made for an interesting dynamic since everyone was trying to grab the wheel of a mountain bike and the tri-guys acting all aero and stuff.  But again, it was fun (and freezing) with, you guessed it, pizza afterward.

Last week it was only a group of 6 hearty riders who braved wind, rain, cool temps and the threat of lightning to go out.  It was one of the rider's first time on the shop ride and here he was in some of the worst weather.  I have to admit I was ready to cancel when someone called my bluff and indicated he was going regardless.  Well, there was pizza to eat afterward so off we went. 

We really did not get that wet and the fact that I am here to write this indicates that we did not get struck by lightning.  It was fun because of the group that came together that night regardless of weather.  That is when I started seeing the ride and the resulting experience as a recipe and the different riders as the ingredients that come together each week.  No two rides will ever be the same since the participants and weather will never be duplicated exactly.  That is what makes them fresh and fun each week.

With the weather warming (finally) we hope to see the ride numbers grow again - each with its own feel and memories.  When two or more riders come together - the recipe is right.  Bon appétit.  

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