Friday, July 26, 2013

My WV List: #12 The Hammer Ride

To quote the mad man himself "Still the best ride for bang-for-your-buck in my opinion!" -Gunnar Shogren

To quote me, "The hammer ride is so hard"

To quote me again "I just puked in my mouth" 

The loop was always the same until this year.  Then it changed.

And got worse.

The first 3 years I attempted the Wednesday night group ride affectionately known as "the hammer ride", I never ever made it to any of the re-groups with the front group.  In fact, I never really could do anything but dangle off the back of the group and try and stay in it as long as I could.

But then, this year, it finally happened.  I made it to the re-group with the fast folks.

So what is it?

Think of the hammer ride as a race on a weekday night for no prizes, and there's no categories, so there's Cat 2 (and 1?) men and women stacked up against folks who don't even have a racing licence  and everything in between.

And then we try and go as fast as we can.

In all weather, from about April through about September.

Mostly.

But the cool thing is, we always regroup, so if you get dropped, you aren't left for dead on the side of the road.

Mostly.

And sometimes folks ride mountain bikes.

Ok, that really only happened once this year.

This is a very serious video of the hammer ride.

And there's a couple of sprints too, although it seems like only a half dozen of us ever try for them.

The hammer ride is a chance for anyone to try something different too.  An attack, a hard pull, launching a team mate.

It's also a time to practice pack riding skills.  Don't mess up, or you'll get a growl or a sharp rebut from the more "established" riders.

And for God's sake, don't cross the yellow line.

I've had several of my best-ever power numbers on the hammer ride.  Also, I've had some of my best times with my fellow Morgantown cyclists.  

It's a no-pressure anaerobic-fest that always leaves me feeling I haven't done NEARLY enough hill repeats... 

I have no idea if a ride like this exists anywhere else, but I'm sure it does.  And I'm sure it's really hard.  In fact, I'm sure there's harder rides.

Let's hope I never find them.