Smoked by a mountain bike

Just when I start to get a little cocky…a little confident in the way my training is going…

I was wrapping up my Tuesday evening fast ride on the Veloway.  With just a mile to go to reach home, I stopped at the red light at the corner by the supermarket — the corner that leads up to the Mild Suburban Incline where I’ve had some adventures in the past.

The notorious Mild Suburban Incline from the stoplight across the street.  Sorry for the poor quality cell phone shot — dusk was fast approaching.  Although the road ahead looks flat, it slopes uphill for a good half mile.  The supermarket is barely visible on the right.

Sure enough, it happened again.  A young guy pulled up behind me at the light.  He was on a mountain bike, dressed in a t-shirt and cargo shorts.  He did have on a helmet.  We nodded at each other, and I turned my attention to the light.

It changed.  I stood on the pedals, and headed across the intersection.  Young mountain bike guy (I’m guessing he was in his early 20s) pulls out beside me, passes, and heads up the incline, gaining speed.  I can’t believe it.  This isn’t supposed to happen.  My bike has skinny tires, and is therefore fast, right?

I shifted up one, and pulled on the pedals.  He stood on his pedals, and pulled away.  I kind of stayed with him, but I wore myself out and shifted down to an easier gear.  He got to the top of the hill, and peeled off to a side street on the right.

Well, kudos to him.  Anyone who can outrun a road bike with a mountain bike — even when he has an age advantage of 30-35 years — deserves praise.  I hope he doesn’t gloat over it too much, because I’ll be looking for him, and the next time we meet — that hill is mine!


  1. says

    One day a guy smoked me pretty badly. He was on a mountain bike and flat pedals. It was depressing. From what I have read we put too much emphasis on the bike. As the title of the book said “It’s not about the bike”.

  2. qneill says

    Hiya Ray,
    Just found your entertaining blog.

    I had not so much as a smoking as a slow basting on one of the 2008 CCRCC rides out and back to Kyle. I was hanging with the A- group most of the way, a real nice workout (3-5 guys off the front were the real A guys). I noticed a guy who had also been hanging in our group – wearing flip flops, cargo pants, flapping an unbuttoned shirt in the wind. Seriously, all the way to Kyle and back (40 miles).

    It gets worse. So in the last 3 miles or so, on Slaughter lane no doubt, he *pulls off the front of the group*. I guess he was late or something. I turned left to go home via S. Mopac but what I was really doing was limping away in shame.


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