The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, August 06, 2007

Too Big

Almost 500 riders have started the registration process for the Alyn Bike Ride.

I am starting to get the feeling that it's getting too big. I'm sure that's how many of the earlier riders felt on my first ride when it grew to around 300 riders. There are now 4 differen sections in the ride including the challenge ride for lunatics, the on road ride, the off road ride and the sissy ride.

Based on last year's experience, I opted out of the challenge ride because I found it too intense. I managed to hang in for the most part but did not really enjoy the high level of testosterone and the fact that you literally could not stop to take a picture or you'd be dropped like a hot potato. And, although I am training very hard now, I know that my training will drop in September and October; two of my busiest months.

The problem that presents is that, with so many more riders, it is almost certain that the regular on road ride will have many lousy riders. This creates two problems. Safety and time. Inexperienced riders can be a hazard to your health (not that challenge riders can't; the challenge ride goes at a much faster speed and bad things can happen at speed). Second, lousy riders can be brutally slow. That means a lot of waiting around.

The other thing that worries me is iPods, the scourge of this ride. For some reason, the ride organizers are not serious in their enforcement of the prohibition of iPods. One day, I don't know when, this will have catastrophic results.

The other issue is the social aspect. A huge ride like this tends to get cliquei; veteran riders tend to stick with the people they've met over the years making it harder for new riders to get comfortable. And the sheer size is intimidating.

When will this ride get too big for me? The organization itself is great and I would hate to stop being involved (I'm in the top ten fundraisers every year) but I don't know if I'm cut out for this. I get to Israel enough to be able to ride there on my own quite a few times each year.

Let's see how this year goes.



  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    MoC, sounds like you're having a bad day. You sound like the quintessential Jew - you're in the middle and everybody else is an extremist. The serious cyclists are "lunatics" and those weaker than you are "sissies".

    All kidding aside, you have to make a decision where you "hold" in cycling. If you want a fast pace and climbs that push you to your limit, then get on the challenge ride. Your ego will suffer when you get dropped and you'll be exhausted every evening, but you'll become a better rider.

    On the other hand, if you want to schmooze and take pictures but still enjoy a long ride every day, do the regular ride. But be prepared for more down time, bigger crowds, and less experienced riders. You can't have it both ways.

    Personally, my beef with Alyn is with the accommodations. The places the challenge ride stayed last year reminded me of scenes from the hurricane Katrina refugees. I had no intention on doing the ride again until my 16 y/o daughter decided to participate this year.

  • At 5:55 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    You're saying you have a beef sleeping with camels?


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