This is the conundrum our grupetto faced during today’s 86 mile training ride. “Next right”, or “right”? First world problems abound here.
Setting the Scene
Imagine a two by two group of riders, 12 in all, chugging along on serene Florida back roads. The bloke leading the ride, yours truly, was calling out the turns to whomever was on the front. A few of the riders were ignoring me, as they had swiped a copy of my awesome course file, and loaded onto their little Garmin 705’s and 800’s. The purple line can rule your life. Lemmings.
The group was heading South along a paved road (at left). Yours truly, a row or two from the front, calls out “next right”, not once, not twice, but thrice, each time increasing in volume.
The leading duo of riders near the corner, and… completely… miss the turn. A short moment of confusion ensued, before the former pack leaders rejoined. Their reasoning for missing the turn? They were expecting to hear “right”, and not “next right”.
One of them blamed my awesome accent, and reckoned I should learn to speak English (American). Cheek buggers. Actually, I speak Commonwealth English, which is far superior to the bollocks spoken around here. Remember, pinkies up on your coffee and tea, trendsetters.
Call me an ignoramus, but calling “next right” indicates the upcoming turn on the route is to the right, or in the right direction if you prefer. Or, at the next turn, take a right. Cue dictionary.com’s definition of NEXT. Am I wrong or right?
Ironically, the same duo buggered up another turn not long after, so I suspect they need their ears cleaned out. The group did find great amusement after these events, and took the piss shouting “upcoming right”, “future right”, “turn to starboard”, etc.
All of these temporary FUBARs and joviality aside, the group had a splendid ride in sweltering heat and humidity, and covered many new roads for some. How the hell did this blog post turn into a lame discussion about right turns?
Cue the Dirt
That’s right, dirt roads on a road bike. Nothing crazy for some, but enough to freak out most riders. Confidentially readers (all five of you), I did warn the bloke astride the Colnago C50, about the upcoming dirt road that lay a mile or two ahead. Colnago C40’s and C50’s are fantastic bikes, but only Professional cyclists take their Colnagos onto dirt and cobbles. Professionals get their bikes for freebies, and generally don’t care about them. The rest of us amateurs poser types ride Colnagos on primo paved roads, and only when the rain forecast is 100% clear. Ditto for the shiny white Sidi shoes.
Moving along, the rest of the group was unaware of the dirt road, until I called “upcoming right”. Unfortunately, nobody complained. Well, there were complaints, but I was far ahead of them 🙂 One of the blokes on our ride, let’s call him “Snickers”, was mashing his 53 x 14 gear, all day. He sank immediately into the soft sand during the first quarter mile of the road, his momentum further nulled by zero cadence and zero skills. This snowballed like a 55 gallon drum of ball bearings being unleashed in a roller skating rink. Every rider behind “Snickers” went arse up, or clipped out and walked. Nobody was hurt, but it was funny stuff.
The Point of this Post?
Riding dirt, gravel and limerock roads on any bike is awesome, but optimal with a cyclocross bike.
Now, whip on down to your local bike shop, and buy a cyclocross bike. Tell them JOM sent you, and thank me later.