The Metal Ride. An Opinion.

In Local, Local Rides, Musings, Rides, Single Speed, Training on August 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I really like the Metal Ride. I do. It starts stupid fast. Usually up the hill on Dawson. No warm up. Just Go. Into oxygen debt immediately. Single speed. Complete anaerobic in ten seconds or less. My head swells from the heat until I feel half crazed. And slightly worried. Red face. The usual suspects of thighs screaming, lungs searing, head swimming apply.

By the time we climb out of the river valley and approach Bannister I can barely speak. Yet somehow I yell, “Right on Bannister” and “Clear”.  The extra effort is exhausting but I decide ignoring it is my best option and plow ahead. We stop at the top and pretend to be letting everybody catch up. But breath is what’s caught. Heart rate slowing.

Now… Go! You don’t want to slow a Metal fitness ride down too much.

Somewhere along the way, Tim, the guy on the hybrid… with the stereo… attacks like a demon sent to shame and mock all those who would dare to think they’re fast on their road bikes. Usually there’s some pause as the fast guys assess the situation and try to figure out what the hell is happening. Though, by now, I think they’re getting used to it. The pace is pushed.

Around half way, the front group I’ve been chasing for the last forty five minutes, the ones continually receding into the distance,  start to slow a bit. Or maybe there’s some momentary directional confusion. I do have my tactics. I use the opportunity to attack. Everything I have is put into a sprint for as far as I can physically go until someone passes me. If it’s soon, I’ll try to jump on. If not, my resources will gradually wane. Four or five cyclist will pass me like I’m standing still and I’ll have to make the decision. Is there anything left?

Lactate threshold rising.

Closing in on the Bluebonnet Store the temperature drops to a comfortable ninety nine degrees but the cold beer is still welcome. Much nodding of the heads and mutual appreciation.

From here it’s downhill and watch the hell out for the debris in the bike lane. The speed in the darkness down Robert E. Lee with its roughness and oncoming headlights brings an involuntary ear to ear smile. Blinky lights descend.

And the cool, cool waters of Barton Springs. Sweet sweetness.

As the antitheses to all other riding I do, it’s a welcome change. I’m all about conserving energy to ride further. But at some point distance becomes a bit about speed. And so I welcome the Metal ride into my schedule and wish it a long life.

And of course. It’s always good to listen to Ronnie James Dio while sipping free beer at the Jackalope.

Thanks Keith.

The Heavy Metal Fitness Ride departs the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge Mondays at 7:30 pm. Prompt. Last time I heard, your Mother won’t be attending. So. Bring WATER, tube changing necessities,  a lock, a swim suit, your id if you’re a drinker and TIP MONEY. You might even check the route map. I wear a helmet as the ride is fast and in the dark. Remember. Head injuries slow rides. And you don’t want to slow down a Heavy Metal Fitness ride. Now do you.


  1. I’ve never been more pissed off about having a sinus infection on a Monday. Thanks for the bittersweet amplification of disappointment.

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