Wankmeister cycling clinic #28: Can we get a “B” ride?

March 6, 2015 § 35 Comments

Dear Wankmeister:

I know you are a big fan of that Thursday Flog Ride around the PV Golf Course and I am too. I have done it several times but I always get dropped. The hardest part is right when we turn out of the parking lot. I’m tired of getting dropped and have spoken with some other people who have also been dropped, and what we’d like to know is if you would make everybody stop at the top at the golf course and regroup, that way we could all be together until the next lap, and then after we all got dropped you could wait for us again and then we’d do that for all six laps and it would be like doing intervals on the Amalfi Ride that they do over in West L.A.

Dudley Duffersmith

Dear Dudley:

First, it’s not my ride and I don’t control how people ride it. If you want people to wait for you then at the start you should say to everyone in a loud voice before rolling out, “Hey, guys and girls, please wait for me after I get dropped, okay?” Then each person can decide how he or she wants to proceed. The Amalfi Ride is indeed a regroup-and-wait ride, yes, it certainly is.


Dear Wankscum:

I am sick of getting dropped by all the snooty SPY wankers on the Flog Ride. How come you don’t regroup? The thing that’s awesome about the NPR is that everyone stays together. Or at least make a B Ride. Quit being such an asshole, okay?

Peter Peckinpaw

Dear Peter:

You’re being unfair. Your’re not just getting dropped by SPY, you’re also getting dropped by the Big O wankers, the Surf City wankers, and the Monster Media wankette. Have you noticed that the no-drop NPR goes off on Thursday at exactly the same time as the Flog Ride? Hint, hint.


Dear Wankmeister:

You SPY guys reek of elitism and exclusiveness. Get over yourselves, and while you’re at it please let’s do a regroup at the top and also have a B Ride and maybe also a C Ride for the people who can’t ride with the B’s. Really. I’m serious.

Tess Tookingham

Dear Tess:

Rather than pointing to SPY’s elitism and alleged exclusivity, please let me point you to their fourth quarter results. How did they do this? By having a happy disrespect for the usual way of looking at things. In most cycling communities, when a ride is too hard, it gets watered down with a B, C, and D ride. Then “no-drop” rules get instituted. Before long, you know what happens? Someone like Tony Manzella goes out and creates a Dogtown Ride, which shreds everyone until people start complaining and the watering down starts all over again. Our Thursday Flog Ride is an alternative to the usual way of doing things. It was thought up by a creative genius, and the participants like hard rides. If it will make you feel any better (it won’t), everyone eventually gets dropped. Especially me.

Shelled but happy,



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§ 35 Responses to Wankmeister cycling clinic #28: Can we get a “B” ride?

  • Winemaker says:

    EYou SPY guys reek of elitism and exclusiv(e)ness. Get over yourselves…”, and learn to spell. (What a wanker of an english student you are…where were you in elementary school?)…oh yeah, Houston….
    and please, don’t drop my fat, hungover (but happy) ass….

    • fsethd says:

      I thought it was highlighting the word because it should have been “exclusivity.” Will fix that, thanks.

  • dangerstu says:

    You’re all wrong about groups, they should start doing them on the pro tour, that way any wanker can say they have raced the tour, especially if everyone got a nice trophy just for showing up. I’m going to call Cookson, the pros will love it, with all the extra participants it will be much harder to getting caught doping.

  • Paul Tober says:

    “…everyone eventually gets dropped”

    It is always good to remind oneself of that truth. On our local thrash ride almost invariably all but one rider gets dropped by the top of the hill. If you cannot handle being dropped competitive cycling is not for you.

  • Michelle Landes says:

    I show up cause one day I’m going to make that turn!!!!

  • Dan K says:

    I’ve found getting dropped on the first lap has trained me to generate solid consistent efforts. My 2, 3, 4, 5 lap times are slowly becoming faster and faster. I may be 10 minutes behind the “A” group, but a month ago I was 14 minutes, and two months ago I was lapped.

    Your results my vary. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    Besides, for strict liability reasons, I’m not riding on the same ride as you, we are temporarily occupying adjacent pieces of road. If we regrouped, someone might misunderstand.

    • fsethd says:

      Ha, ha! Your progress is awesome. It’s too bad that more people don’t see progress as the natural outcome of perseverance, and instead want the activity rigged from the start to avoid shameful feelings of droppage and pain.

  • Geoffrey says:

    Way, way back in the day, I used to do a practice crit in Poway. The goal was to hang on as long as I could. Then get lapped. Several times. That said, it also gave me the opportunity to ride on the opening parade lap with really fast people. Like Chris Horner.

    That said, the only thing that buffs my fender is when a light turns red, and the first half of the group runs the light, and doesn’t regroup. My solution: not ride with those people.

    I plan on doing the Swami’s ride, and being badly shelled, soon. But guess what? Maybe I’ll hang on a little bit longer the next time.

    Strangely, I can actually choose who I ride with. Weird.

  • The Law Offices of Sausage, Manicotti and Mortazella says:

    Dear Wankmeister,

    We note that you have authored a publication in which you claim that our client Tony Manzella “created” a bicycling group ride that you refer to as the “Dogtown Ride.” Those statements are libelous and defamatory towards Mr. Manzella.

    Mr. Manella may ride his bicycle on certain Saturdays at a certain time leaving from a certain “Dogtown” coffee shop taking a pre-determined route, but to the extent that any other bicyclists choose to ride in the vicinity of Mr. Manzella during said solo bicycle rides, that is purely coincidental. Most of the time they don’t last long “in the vicinity” anyways.

    You are hereby directed to cease and desist writing, stating, suggesting or insinuating that Mr. Manzella sponsors, authorizes, approves, recognizes, encourages, abets, aids, promotes, offers, suggests, references, creates, manages, supervises, regulates, reviews or evaluates this purported “Dogtown Ride,” any other group bicycling ride, riding a bicycle in general, or any physical activity of any manner.

    We trust you will direct your full attention to this matter.


    The Law Offices of Sausage, Manicotti & Mortazella™

    • fsethd says:

      I was actually referring to Tony Thorsten Manzella, a similar but completely different person from the Tony Manzella of your esteemed firm. Your Tony Manzella is widely renowned for his non-organization an non-sponsorship of various bicycling events, and he is recognized far and wide as an individual who rides individually upon the public roads by himself except the extent that other bicycle riders coincidentally ride nearby in the same general direction while waiving all rights to assert claims of liability against him. Please excuse the confusion, and thank you for your kind letter.

    • Winemaker says:

      I choked on my coffee laughing at this…even Honey (the dog) looked at me funny….

  • Crashgybe says:

    I get dropped getting out of bed!

  • I love Spy vs Spy! One of my favorite t-shirts! ❤

  • Dang…oh well… I have to admit….one of these letters could have been from me!…I’d much rather have the Flog ride be “like” the Amalfi ride…where you BLAST for 6-7 minutes…regroup after everyone, except one, gets dropped …then do it again….AND I actually wrote that on my Strava…
    I don’t care too much about forming a “B” group…but the intervals make more sense for my picky training “needs”…(heart-smiley face here)
    Also, hats off to smart asses Dan K and Sausage! Hilarious.

    • fsethd says:

      This is why you are a successful bicycle racer. You fit rides to your training regimen. This why I am a bad bicycle racer. I love the flogging.

  • "B" Rider Wannabe says:

    I am sure much of what you wrote is tongue-in-cheek (pretty funny too). But in all fairness to Dudley, Peter & Tess (or rather, their Strava counterparts), it didn’t seem to me that anybody was dissing SPY–I read into it that the fast guys like this ride because, though it’s a tough ride, they are able to keep up; hence “exclusivity”. Heck, if I was as fast as some of those guys I surely would enjoy being a part of the shelling club! There is no doubt, the SPY guys on that ride ARE fast but there are others (G$, G3, Cowan to name a few) that can dish out some fatal FLOG flapjacks as well. All these comments are “grain of salt” caliber anyway…

    I could be reading it wrong, I suppose, but is seemed to me like the “regroup” concept was thrown out there to keep some of the “B” riders interested in coming back more than anything. It wasn’t a “B” rider that proposed the idea.

    Anyway, like you said–it’s not your ride so you don’t have to worry about changing anything about it. Nobody is stopping a B group from forming if they want to.

    Long live the FLOG!

  • Cameron S says:

    I love this post!

    I may or may not admit to writing the word “exclusivity” while referencing the SPY guys on that Strava post that Leibert mentioned. Truth is I am humbled to even ride in the same zip code as everyone on that FLOG.

    I like the idea of the FLOG, and I am envious of anyone fast enough to hang on for more than the first couple of laps (I might join that group one day…)–but like Michelle said, we just gotta keep showing up and trying–regroup or not. I’ll eat my words, Wanky…since you called me out.

    Dan K has improved a TON since he started riding the FLOG, I can second that.

    My wife’s uncle’s cousin had a trainer whose son’s mother-in-law had an “exclusive” motto she heard from her grandfather’s barber, who doubled as a night-time shift manager in a peanut factory. It went something like this:

    Shell or be shelled.

    • fsethd says:

      Hee, hee!

    • fsethd says:

      The other thing is that the ride is only once a week, whereas the NPR is twice a week. Plenty of opportunity to get different kinds of workouts with those two rides. And what people who get shelled early don’t see is that a few laps in lots of others get the peanut treatment until the very end, when it is a handful of 3-6 riders all strung out on La Cuesta.

      Just by showing up you’re making a statement about your fitness and desire to improve it. As G$ points out, it’s not necessarily a great training ride re: intervals, although in some sense it is because the descent is complete recovery. Except when it’s not!

      Anyway, there are so many great rides to choose from, this one offers things that other rides don’t. I’ve been kicked out the back early and done it by myself. It’s still a nice ride!

      One comment made by Hair was that if more people showed up it would be a series of grupettos, as opposed to one leading clump and then everyone else strung out all over the course.

      Oh, well. No perfect solutions to anything, I guess. Thanks again for showing up, riding, and joining the conversation!

  • Pablo maida says:

    Every ride has a regroup. It’s just a matter of whether or not one is fast enough or cool enough to make the regroup.

  • Tom Paterson says:

    These are the good old days of the future.
    (Wow, I did it. Horace, my old friend, take note!)

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