Thursday, February 21, 2008

Being the leader can suck sometimes.....

Yesterday was Wednesday which means I was supposed to lead the weekly training ride after work.
According to, we were supposed to have mostly cloudy but you wouldn't know it from the heavy rain that was coming down when I woke. Luckily, by the time noon rolled around the sky was blue so I emailed everyone that the ride was on.

We met at the parking lot for the Alameda Creek trail with a goal of 15 miles and headed out. There were 5 of us and for one of the riders this was only the second ride in the last 30 years.

The Alameda Creek trail is the perfect route to take beginners on. Since it’s a multi use trail there are no cars to deal with and it’s almost completely flat except where it goes under the cross streets. If you start at one end and do the entire out and back including the loop around Coyote Hills, you can make a 30 mile ride out of it.
Of course there’s no such thing as a perfect ride which we would find out later.

We had done a nice easy 6 miles on the way out when it started getting cold and dark so we turned around and headed back. Everyone was having a good ride and there weren’t any issues other than the mention of a numb butt. We were actually about 500 yards from the parking lot when navigating the last underpass (which has a pretty sharp turn) one of the rider’s bikes went out from under them and down they went.

Now the crash wasn’t all that serious. There was some road rash, and they’re definitely sore today but nothing life threatening and there don’t appear to be any broken bones. And, luckily one of the other riders had his first aid kit in his truck. Still, I was the ride leader and someone crashed which triggers a lot of thought and reflection. (along with a certain amount of guilt)

Things I learned from last night’s incident. (You’ll notice I refrain from calling it a crash. This is my way of minimizing the situation and avoiding additional guilt.)
- I should always have a first aid kit in the truck
- No matter how easy a ride seems, things can go wrong
- There’s no such thing as a perfect route
- The minute and a half between when someone goes down and that person gets back up can be the longest 90 seconds ever

All in all it was a good ride for 11.9 of the 12 miles out and back. The person that went down said they’ll definitely be back next week and lesson were learned so I guess some good came out of it and it could have been much worse.

The other bad part is that the person involved in “the incident” is our safety manager at work and I’ll probably get written up for not having my first aid kit with me in the truck…..

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