2012 Festive 500

Michael Jividen

Riding in a big city is all about the group ride. People, conversation and ritual passes the grinding miles of the grid. The great carless handful of miles hammered during the loop far from the city are cherished on the slog home. This is the bread and butter of the urban bike racer. The group ride is where you learn and where you share.

What I learned:

The king size Payday candy bar has 440 calories and costs under two dollars at most gas stations.

The hot water in a gas station sink is the best place to thaw water bottles.

It’s much more difficult to take a natural when there is snow on the ground.

From downtown Chicago one can ride to two velodromes and log 119km. The entire ride is spent drudging to and from a velodrome. There is great satisfaction in seeing the snow covered banked turns and thinking about the last time you rode them.

Sharing the ritual is as rewarding as taking part in it