Reporting from Statesboro

It’s been a little while since I posted over here at

I’ve been down in Statesboro for just over a month now, and I’m in my fifth week of work at Georgia Southern University.

Work has been very busy, but is going well. Statesboro itself, however, is definitely not Pittsburgh, and it shows in what I’ve been doing (or not doing) in the off hours. The lack of social opportunities so far hasn’t been an completely bad thing, though. It’s lead me to get back on the bicycle.

As you may be aware, for the last 4 years I’ve had a Gary Fisher Utopia hybrid bike. It had served me well, over all. I was able to get out on it on Sunday, 4/6 for a 16 mile ride to get back in the swing of things. That Monday I made it out for 18 miles, 24 miles on Wednesday, and 16 on Thursday. After this, that means I’ve ridden that bike a total of 2595 miles since I bought it in June of ’04, and also have spent countless hours using it on a trainer during the winter months. It’s done well, but considering that I long ago transitioned to riding almost exclusively on the road, and around here I don’t really have much of an option but to ride on the road, I figured it was time for a change.

So, this past Saturday morning, I made a trip to the local bike shop here, and made a purchase.

Behold my new ride:

Brand New Trek 1.2

It’s a Trek 1.2, which is their entry-level road bike. I didn’t want to spend massive amounts of cash, and I figured it was good enough for my purposes.

The day I got it, I got out on the road and went for a 25 mile ride. The original plan was to hit 40, but I got caught in a thunderstorm, and riding in heavy rain isn’t really all that fun. It felt good the first time out. Very fast compared to what I am used to riding. Yesterday, I was able to get out for another 28 mile ride. Still felt very good, and I’m feeling good about the purchase.

Today, however, I did something a little bit different. On my trips to the bike shop, the owner mentioned that there was a local ride that left his shop every Wednesday at 6:00 PM. He made it sound like not that crazy of a thing. So today after work, I hopped on the bike and headed down to the shop.

When I arrived, there were about 5 or 6 other guys there. They all had some pretty nice bikes, and a few even had fully matching bike shorts/shirt combos. Two of the guys started talking about their last race, and how they were asked to step up to the next class or something like that. It was about then that I realized I might be screwed.

Everyone was friendly and introduced themselves. They seemed like a good group. As we get underway, I realize that they were forming up a paceline. I’ve never ridden in a line before, but I know the basic idea. Stay on the wheel of the dude in front of you. The problem was that, at least at first, there was a lot of speeding up and slowing down. This lead to me hitting the brakes a lot. It only took a few minutes before a dude rode up beside me and asked “You haven’t ridden in a paceline before, have you?”

The guy was nice about it and gave me tips for what to do. Not using the brakes, never stop pedaling, etc. I was still having problems staying close enough to the wheel of the bike in front of me though, as it’s sort of a nerve-wracking thing at first. Almost everyone in the group, though, was really friendly and accepting of my incompetence.

After my first time at the front of the line, I dropped back, and the next leader kicked up the pace. Rather than falling in at the end, I just got left behind. One dude dropped back and rode next to me, and despite my insistence that they should continue the ride at their pace, he stuck with me and we reformed at the next turn. After that a guy stuck with me, and even occasionally helped me with a push.

When it was all said and done, I had ridden about 31.5 miles, at an average speed of about 23 mph. It seriously kicked my ass. They do a Saturday and Sunday ride, which are a bit more laid back. I think I might stick with those for a few weeks, before trying to hang with them on the fast ride again.

All in all, though, it was good to ride with some other people, as I haven’t really met anyone outside of work yet.

So, all of this means that I’m at total of 158.5 miles for the year. Probably not bad for less than 2 full weeks of just getting back on the bike.

So, uh, yeah… bike bike bike.

3 Responses to “Reporting from Statesboro”

  1. Charlie Says:

    Ooooh! Good riding groups are….good. Don’t forget about pace-line rule #1: never cross wheels with the person in front of you. Never use your brakes is probably a good candidate for rule #2.

    So far you have ridden outside more than me…

  2. The AntiDJ Says:

    Well, interestingly, they were saying there were some times to overlap wheels a bit, such as when the wind is coming from the side. As far as the brakes go, though, yeah, no using those. They said to just drift out of the line and to let the wind slow you, but I still didn’t find that to be too effective. It’s just going to take some time for me to get used to riding with people in that way.

  3. BrainMc Says:

    Thanks for making the long drive to visit us up north and playing some cards and joining me for a short ride. It was great to finally meet you in person. I will keep you in the loop for future events or just let me know when you have to make a trip to Atlanta and we can try to put something together.

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