Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Bone Ride

Today I did the annual 154 mile or 253K ride from Tom Schuler's house in Wauwatosa WI. To Madison WI called the Bone Ride.

The Bone Ride 

I simply could not believe the turn out! My estimation is that there were at least 300 participants leaving Tom's house in Wauwatosa and with a stop in Pewaukee Wisconsin on the way to Madison WI we picked up at least another 100 maybe more!

Tom Schuler had a little talk about what the “Bone” ride was about before the ride and some basic ground rules for the ride. What Tom intended to happen was to have the large group broke up into small groups of no more than 40 riding two abreast doing at most a 5 minute pull at a “talking pace” so that no one would be working all that hard with the purpose (in Tom's words) was to do “stupid” miles or Bone head miles. Long steady distance miles is a part of all racers training in early spring and this was just a way to do it.

Ah! But the reality of the ride was a couple of very large groups of riders going at very high speed at times on very narrow and low shoulder or no shoulder roads for much of the ride through one of the fastest growing parts of Wisconsin with high volumes of traffic on the roads!

Combine that with at times some poor cycling behavior including many cyclists urinating right on the side of the road. No big deal if this was on a rural Wisconsin byway instead of a “New urban” area.
With the huge group the road was blocking cars from passing which brought out the Police to enforce two abreast and yielding the road to Autos. They were not happy. Just what we don't need. One guy was peeing at the side of the road right in front of the cops! Not to smart. Fortunately for him it was just a lecture and be on your way!!!

The other issue were the number of crashes that I personally witnessed. One was particularly nasty with a lot of road rash.

Now with all that negativity this could be a fantastic early spring ride with some changes to the venue given the new nature of the roads. One suggestion would be using the internet and have folks register and at that time get assigned to a small group with some kind of system. I am sure this could be easily done! And then stagger the groups when they leave with a rule that you are not to over take and make a group of 40 a group of 80!

These suggestions would help or eliminate what went on today with this large group of riders.
With 40 miles to go I baled on the ride and took the really nice bike trail and some much lower traffic roads back to Wauwatosa and I added about 20 miles to get about 180 miles in for the day.
Would I do this ride again? Not without some major changes....



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