Confused…. Etiquette

So today I went out for a mid week solo time trial (TT) ride.  I am still on Christmas holiday so today was aiming to be a little longer, a little later and I was just out to bank some solid k’s, no real focus other than zone 2/3 (boarder) for 2 to 3 hours.  It was all going perfectly but upon reflection, & I had plenty of time to reflect (more on that later), I now need to vent!  So brace yourselves and be prepared to provide me with feedback!

Well my route took my to a criterium track.  An approximately 1.4km off road loop, fully asphalted, perfect for TT’ing.  I wasn’t alone at the track, there were about 20-40 other cyclist all rolling around the track, all sorts of rider’s a few TT bikes, lots of road and even a track bike.  All doing different thing, some cruising on the outside just chatting, most others were in pace lines doing what appeared to be interval work.

It was here that my first issue arose, where to ride solo on a crit track?  I was cruising my first couple of laps following (from a draft legal distance) a small group of riders and had a group of 4 riders in a pace line pass on my left!  Now I am a fairly experienced and not much phases me on the bike, but I can get a little riled.  This passing on the left caught me by surprise, not sure what I thought, but I followed suit and passed the group I had been following also.  Following the passing maneuver, I felt very uncomfortable being on the right (inside) lane of the track, so I rode most of my 10 laps in he middle.  My confusion arises, is it acceptable to pass on the left?   Or should all riders stay out to the left and leave the inside right lanes for the super speedy pace liners!  Following my decision to ride in the middle all future passes were made to my right.  I finished my 10 laps a happy content cyclist 🙂

So from the crit track it a nice cruise tot he foreshore and back to my favorite coffee place, before heading home.  There I was finished a nice little 14km effort on the track incident free, thinking about my coffee and contemplating a brownie?  PING…. Psstttt, front tire flat 😦  Its all good, like all scouts I came prepared, unzipping my saddle bag the horror sets in, I haven’t re-packed my bag following my race set up!  I have no spare tube or tire leavers.  I do have a can of Effetto Mariposa “Espresso” inflate and repair cartridge and a CO2 canister.  Not known to be effective on a clincher.  I said a Hail Mary and gave the Espresso a go, but failed miserably!  Reaching for my phone my horror is deepen’s, I have left the house without my phone!  My wife is going to kill me, she tracks my rides, just dying with anticipation for my return.  Just joking, because she is very concerned about me and doesn’t want anything to happen.  Its our security blanket when I’m out solo!  So here I am about 20km from home with no spare and no phone.

Weighing up all my options, knowing most people have returned to work for 2016, I began the long slow 6.0km walk to my local bike shop (LBS) V1 Cyclery.  This walk is where this blog started, 6km walk / jogging is a lot of thinking time.

So my next question / issue is the etiquette of assistance to a stranded rider.  I have and will always offer my assistance to any rider I pass that looks like they need help!  However today I had 2 riders offer and both times I declined, only to continue on my long lonely trudge tot he LBS.  WHY?  Simply put I was the one that made the rookie errors of no spare, no tire leavers, no phone, I needed to fix my mistake myself, a little self-flagellation.  Anyway long slow trudge complete, I made it to the LBS, repaired the tire, had a coffee and a brownie and headed home late to face the music from the wife.

ts make this the year as a cyclist you offer your assistance, you smile at all passing riders, you nod or acknowledge all passing riders and maybe (unlike myself) put your whip away and accept help when it’s offered.

Would love to her your thoughts:

  1. Where would you ride (solo) on a busy crit track?
  2. Where do you pass other riders on a busy crit track?
  3. Would you offer assistance?
  4. Would you accept assistance?

Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!

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