The Velcro Tire Training Ride AND Video

Yes, velcro tire (tyre).

K-Dogg
K-Dogg with bad dress sense.

Definition: A wheel sucking road surface, typically consisting of sand and water, akin to wet concrete.  The surface is so power robbing, it is like riding velcro tires (tyres) on your bicycle.  Tyres from 1.8″ to 2.0″ (Specialized Renegade or Schwalbe Furious Fred) fare no better.

Suggestion: Stay home, or borrow K-Dogg’s lawn mower, which has 14″ wide tyres.  From K-Dogg, “I could drop you bitches on any surface you can throw at me.  Provided you don’t go faster than 9mph”. 

Or, shut up and ride bitch.

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Riders Assembling.

Blobs

The radar map for the Live Oak, FL area had been covered in green blobs for over 24 hours, interspersed with angry yellow and orange patches.  Keeping with the trend, those same blobs appeared again at 3am, morning of the ride.  The storms dissipated, but the rain was still falling when everyone arrived at the agreed meeting location – somewhere between High Springs, FL and Lake City, FL.  In all, eleven riders appeared:

K-Dogg, Mrs K-Dogg, JOM, Dr Pain, Rob Robins, Todd Leedy (BHT), Mark McBroom (Broomz), Steve Mace (Ocala), Roger Sutton (Ocala), Cabe Crisler and Sebastian Morfin.  Great turnout considering the weather!

Let the Sludge Begin

Within two metres of rolling onto the first limerock road, everyone was covered in $hite from head to toe.  Sludge4Nobody complained, as the group relished the much reduced temperatures.  The heat and humidity around North Central Florida of late has been rather rude.  The pace was steady, but the Ocala lads were overheard saying “The pace is not very fast”.  Hmmm… would they change their tune later?

Sludge6
Broomz in the red jersey, before he split.

Knowing this was a 70 mile ride, yours truly, JOM, sandbagged quite a bit (noticed by Dr Pain) during the earlier miles.  While Roger, Dr Pain, Cabe, BHT and Rob were quite active on the front, everyone else was hiding, slacking, or struggling in the conditions.  JOM was generally avoiding any responsibility near the front.  JOM isn’t a dumbarse.   The wind was almost non existent, but there was that road surface.  The ever power robbing road surface, which makes hiding a moot point.  There is no hiding here.

Casualty #1

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Steve taking a breather.
Sludge14
Cabe about to pull a sludge wheelie.

We have no clue what happened, but Broomz was towards the rear of the group with Steve Mace.  Without word, Broomz turned for the next paved road, about 25 miles into the ride.  We can only assume he was suffering a bit, and needed to take it a little easier.  Admittedly, the pace was rather hard at this point.  Riders were attacking each other at 14mph in deep, wet sand… on their small chainrings.  Try it some time.  Broomz car was gone from the parking lot when we returned, so we assume everything was OK.

Casualty #2

Sludge7
BHT’s crevasse.

A large crevasse appeared with little warning, nearly swallowing K-Dogg, but claiming BHT as a victim when he rear ended K-Dogg’s wheel.  Oops.  BHT is a tough nutter.  BHT picked himself up, and remounted within 30 seconds.  Sludge10His only complaints were a sprained shoulder, sore neck, and bike part rash, from the various metal parts he intertwined with.  BHT finished the ride no worries.

We’re happy to report that BHT is fit and well today, just a little muscle pain here and there.  Sunday night’s IPAs helped a lot.

Casualty#3

Dr Pain’s much vaunted tubeless tyres had a slow leak.  Sludge16Fortunately for him, the small town of Wellborn, FL rolled into view, the planned convenience store stop for the ride.  Everyone piled into the store, barring Dr Pain, who was busy fixing his puncture.  Turns out it was a phantom flat, the wheel was holding air sans tube today, perfectly.  Dodgy valve seal?

Nobody purchased any suspect or weird food items worth writing about, and there were no interesting local publications to be browsed while waiting in line.

Homeward Bound

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Mrs K-Dogg never complains.

The ride terminus was still 50+ kms away, or 30+ miles if you prefer.  BHT left the store early, in order to get mellow head start on the group; or, do some bike pilates when nobody was around.  Our lunch stop didn’t help with the conditions any.  More rain had fallen on parts of the course since our departure, and conditions seemed to be sludgier during the second half, if that was possible.

Casualty #4

Sludge11
Yo Dogg.

Rider’s legs.  People were starting to fatigue and crack.  Steve Mace from Ocala, who’d made the trip to the ride with Roger Sutton, was having an off day.  Still, rather than whinge and complain, he soldered on.  Nice riding Steve!  Sebastian, a very fast Cat 1? road cyclist, was also feeling the pinch.  JOM was feeling the pinch, but used the ride slower tactic, as an excuse to wait for those slower than him.  Such is the responsibility of a ride leader (modest too).

Smell the Barn

With approximately five miles of the ride remaining, the pace was jacked significantly.  If you call 10 – 14mph in sludge significant.  Those who cared were in the move, consisting of about three riders.  Everyone else was done.  There was no sprint or victory, just knowledge in the fact today’s ride was awesome, and everyone pushed themselves hard to make the distance.

Quotes and Screams of the Day

Cabe2
Cabe post-ride, trashed.

K-Dogg to Roger, “You guys have fun today?”  Roger looked at the ground a second… “we have never done a ride like this… ever”.  Roger and Steve both had that faraway into space look, similar to Scott Pfaff’s face after Rouge Roubaix crushed him.

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Sludge everywhere.

Mrs K-Dogg reports rolling past a dying Steve within the last five miles.  He was so crushed, he was moaning and whimpering loudly.

Sebastian said “you just never got a break the whole ride!”

From Dr Pain, “the sand is a great equalizer”.

JOM said, “that ride was like a non erotic experience on the beach, but sand was in every orifice”.

The Ride Video

K-Dogg was running his camera on and off during the day’s proceedings.  JOM put together the highlights package.  Please enjoy in the beauty of High Definition!

Thank You

To everyone who came out on September 7, 2014.  Let’s do it again soon, but not so wet next time.

4 comments on “The Velcro Tire Training Ride AND Video

  1. My favorite comment comes from Dr. Pain when our wheels finally hit pavement two miles from the end. Rob, Dr. Pain and I had been attacking each other silly on the last three brutal sludge sectors. Our sand encrusted drive trains and squealing disk brakes were ignored as each rider skittled left and right in the vain hope of discovering some diguised sweet spot to briefly gain advantage.
    When it was over Dr. Pain breathed…..”Ok…..I’LL say it!….. Effin’ UNCLE!”
    Couldn’t have said it better.

  2. Best comment for me comes from Cabe Crisler, all around nice guy, in the parking lot after. Maybe best post-ride quip ever as the well-heeled bike citizen had been reduced to pure savagery when he exclaimed: “I would’ve strangled a bunny for one more watt of power!!!”

  3. While chatting amiably with JOM (the polite thing to do after being graciously invited to the ride), I apparently missed the final sludge and pain filled move off the front. While I certainly would have thrown my hat into the dirty ring and fought it out to the end, I can’t say that I’m too disappointed that it all transpired without me. Honestly, all day long, I wanted to ride a little harder and hurt a little more, but in the end, I just wanted to be done and get in a shower. At the finale of the sludge road, while waiting with JOM, I realized that my friend had supernova-ed somewhere and felt the need to mount a rescue mission. I guess when conditions are bad we naturally fall into a “No man left behind” mental state. I was doing the Vermont 100 mile trail run a few years ago and had some bad, bad things happening to my body about 80 miles into the race. While entering an aid station, my well trained crew was eager to get me in and out quickly (damn if it wasnt a race after all) but I said something that felt appropriate for the final miles of this ride as well…”We are NOT in a hurry anymore”.

  4. Actually, the B&B station in Wellborn did stock plenty of pickled quail’s eggs. Nobody seemed interested. I didn’t check out their magazine selection.

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