Classic A vs A-19

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Anonymous's picture

"Based on looking a the pictures it seems like the ""Classic A"" is faster, older (in terms of the age of participants), and larger (in terms of their numbers, not individual sizes), but I could also be horribly wrong. What is the difference between the two?



Anonymous's picture
Shymember OK (not verified)
SIGs or STSs?


Both are fine programs that increase your speed and skills. The Classic is faster, and gets even faster more quickly than the A19. Also, the Classic goes on longer rides sooner.

If you are fairly strong already and want to learn pacelining, learn it in the A19. Better to acquire your skills at 19-20 mph than at 25 ! Plus, the A19 has a skills class, a mechanical class and a medical seminar run by Dr. Ed Fishkin, one of the A19 captains.

The A Classic SIG is for the rider that is already strong and skilled in fast pacelining, but wants to get even better. Can you spell HAMMERHEAD ;-)

The SIGs are like school and you are tutored. The leaders of both SIGs are mostly fine and strong riders. However, like anything else, personality comes into play. Most SIG leaders are fine people, but some are a bit power drunk - no insult intended, but I have heard leaders talking about being in control of so many riders, hahaha!! (Diabolical laughter.) And they like to tear into riders who, right or wrong, do something not to a leader's liking. And some are downright rude - you may want to break a nose or two. But, a grain of salt!

Also, especially in the A19, the drop policy is not enforced when it should be. I've seen A19 sub-groups get to a diner when the B15 were leaving! And, they left at similar times! Also, the gals are coddled more than the guys. Which stinks, because it's sexist and because most gals do not need the extra time - well, no more than most guys.


Not school. Just fast riders on the new A19 and faster ones yet on the A Classic. No school means no dictators. But, you better be fast, have the skills and group etiquette. Otherwise, you better have the queue sheet, because you will be dropped. No big deal, but dropped nonetheless.

Your move, etc.

Anonymous's picture
Robin Read (not verified)
A classic

As a past participant and a past leader of the A-Classic, I would suggest if there's anything to be had from the messages posted below, it's Christy Guzzetta's email address! This is the go-to guy for the A SIG. He started it all and he deserves our respect and gratitude, and is more than happy to regale you with fantastic stories of SIGs past.

READ the various SIG pages on this site and in the February Bulletin --don't just look at the pictures!--you'll get all the facts you need. Contact the leaders and Captains--they're the true experts, as opposed to an anonymous Joe or Jane on this message board. Then go to the orientation and hear what they have to say.

What questions remain unanswered generally fall into the realm of the group dynamic, and that may take a few weeks to unfold--but in my experience it's well worth the price of admission. It seems the SIGs are organized this year so you can switch easily if you find one doesn't suit you.

Basically, the Classic is more rigorous than the A-19 in terms of eventual speed and distance. The concept of gradual training is the same.

Anonymous's picture
censured (not verified)

"Dave, get Joe Friel's ""Training Bible for Cyclist."" You would know the meaning of real training. The SIG starts off too late, when every CAT5 rider is already going Hard. You should be doing your base mile during the Winter, not March. When Spring comes, you will be in your Build period (interval training). Since you want to race, Joe's book is the best. Hanging around this club you are doomed to hate cycling. Again, use the SIG rides as your recovery ride.


Anonymous's picture
censured (not verified)

"Dave, get Joe Friel's ""Training Bible for Cyclist."" You would know the meaning of real training. The SIG starts off too late, when every CAT5 rider is already going Hard. You should be doing your base mile during the Winter, not March. When Spring comes, you will be in your Build period (interval training). Since you want to race, Joe's book is the best. Hanging around this club you are doomed to hate cycling. Again, use the SIG rides as your recovery ride.


Anonymous's picture
Christy Guzzetta (not verified)

"I don't often write on the message board. It will be interesting to do so.

""Shymember OK"" sounds as if he/she is an authority on the SIG's. Except he/she is not accurate and clearly does not know the differences between the SIG's. As a rule of thumb, I find anyone who hides their identity is not credible. ""Shymember OK"" is definitely in that category, doesn't have the confidence of character to acknowledge and take ownership of their own thoughts. Perhaps ""Shymember OK"" thinks he/she is helping. NOT!

I've participated in quite a number of SIG's over the years. Maybe ""Shymember OK"" has experienced a SIG, maybe not. Perhaps they have ""heard things"". Regardless, the information provided by him/her is borderline useless. Anonymous postings usually are. I'd give more credence to what ""Shymember OK"" has to say if he/she were to identify themself. Because he/she doesn't, I have absolutely no respect for what he/she has to say.

The authoritative information provided by ""Shymember OK"" about the leaders on the SIG's is 100% wrong. The information about the drop policies is flat out wrong. The information about ""coddling"" is borderline idiotic. I've participated in 16 SIG's - this year will be my 17th. If you, David T. - or anyone for that matter - would like accurate information about the SIG's, feel free to e-mail me directly. I'm not a fan of getting into debates with anonymous people who are not credible. Or, there is contact information for all the SIG leaders on the Club Website - you can contact them as well. ""Shymember OK"" is hidden in the dark shadows of the unknown. I would recommend you not pay any attention to him/her. Probably a good idea to pay zero attention to anyone who posts anonymously.

Hey, ""Shymember"", I'm not interested in getting into a debate with you about he benefits of keeping anonymous. As far as I'm concerned, there are none. Only wimps stay anonymous. Real ""A"" riders certainly don't.

Anonymous's picture
Don Juan de la Velo (not verified)
Coddling or Cuddling?

"OK, show of hands... How many of last years SIG leaders are NOT dating female participants?

Hello? Anyone? One? Well, you, you're married!

Anyone who disputes this is just in outright denial. CG himself even admits his ulterior motive for starting the SIG was to spend time riding with a certain someone he had his eye on. And one perennial SIG captain is well known for his extra-curricular proclivities. And who will say that they haven't sat on The Hill and overheard the leaders chatting about ""this year's crop?"" No, Virginia, they weren't talking about potatos.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

Anonymous's picture
Les (not verified)

Well, as the husband of a current SIG classic participant (and a non-rider), I am more than a little concerned about these motives.


Anonymous's picture
Robin Read (not verified)
no Don Juans here

Don't be too concerned about the claims the anonymous poster made. Speaking from my own personal experience as a female A SIG Classic participant in 1999 and a leader in 2000, and having long-standing friendships with several current SIG leaders and recent participants, I neither witnessed, nor heard tales of ANY leader Lotharios.

Nor was I coddled. I was dropped at least twice as a participant--which perhaps provided me with the motivation to ""kick it up a notch"" in order to make it through the series, as well as to hone my map reading skills.

I was offered guidance, criticism, encouragement and support from leaders and SIGgies alike. I became a much better cyclist as a result. I also found great people to ride with and a whole new circle of friends, none of which was the least bit of a threat to my non-cycling significant other.

Aside from giving back to the club, the only ""ulterior"" motives I saw at work were having fun and honing leadership skills. I would question the original poster's motives for making veiled accusations anonymously--he/she is not accountable for such actions, whereas every single SIG leader is. I see no reason not to encourage your wife to take on the challenge.


Anonymous's picture
Shymember OK (not verified)


I am only relating MY experience. While I do say a couple negative things, my point and tone are positive. The SIGs and the STSs are good programs and I personally thank YOU personally for your input into either or both of them.

Why do you only focus on the negative?

I am Shymember- and that is a term I adopted from President Tom on why anonymous posts are still allowed here. I've seen posts that are extremely rude, racist and perhaps criminal and I do not want to be subjected to that AND have my identity known. It is a shield, not a sword my friend. I am on the side of the angels.

These are my opinions based on my version of the facts. Disagree, go ahead. But not knowing my name or blood type does not diminish the weight of my thoughts. In fact, you are engaging in name-calling and ""arguing"" ad hominem, which is beneath you. If you knew who I was, we would start having antagnonistic rides together, if we ride together at all. So, I am Shymember OK. No, not a wimp, or a sqaure-pedaling wannabe.

You are behaving poorly. I have given my opinion, as a former A sigger; now, what is your opinion as a leader and founder? Don't act like a SIG dictator - here on the board we are all equal. Info!!

Seriously, if I am unhelpful according to you, why don't you proffer some advice - that's what I am doing. In good faith! And you want to stick a pump in my front wheel because you don't know my name! You have to catch me first baby (I truly hope you are laughing).

What the ****, am I Victor Chan?

No hard feeling, but stop name-calling. See you on the road.

Love, Shy"

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
2 Anonymous

"I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone used my treatise on anonymous posts to justify the unjustifiable.

The argument that: ""If you knew who I was, we would start having antagonistic rides together..."" to justify posting under a pseudonym is indeed wimpy. Posting anonymously should not be used as license to make antagonistic and inflammatory statements. If you don't want to stir up antagonism, don't make antagonistic statements. And whether or not you agree that posting under one’s real name in and of itself adds credibility, it is certainly the case that one can better judge the credibility of a post based on the reader’s knowledge of the individual poster.

And let me be absolutely clear about this, I much prefer that everyone post under their real name.

Anonymous's picture
Shymember OK (not verified)
Tom ???


A question was posted and I answered it honestly and in the spirit of comaraderie- much as I did with discussions about cold weather riding and lubes and so forth. I like talking bikes, especially in this freeze we are in – I have sometime to discuss all things bicycle.

For my efforts, I was attacked by Christy, called names and ridiculed. HE is the culprit here. I responded politely and now have to contend with you. The issue is SIG not anonymity. My honesty in talking about my experiences in the SIG can be given whatever weight a reader wishes. But I will not suffer at Christy’s hands. He is dead wrong and has issues that I can only guess. Why am I attacked? I’m not whining, but why are you on his side? His history in NYCC? That gives him carte blanche to call me names? And if he knew my name, what would say to me, I to him, in person? It would not be pretty.

I really ask you to reconsider – re-read his post vis-à-vis mine. Mine are sincere and polite. He is being a jerk in this instance and baiting me. I know and respect you, and ask you, again, to re-consider. Whatever I am, I am being civil and Christy is not. And realize, I am no wimp. I do not like being called one.

Please do not close-ranks on me or this issue. Christy needs a talking to. I’m not wasting my breathe on it or him any longer. I am just concerned about the NYCC. I did nothing and think Christy needs to be trued.

I am relying on my faith in NYCC, you, as well as logic and civility.

Keeping the faith, well, trying, ...

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Try Again

"The reason for my post has nothing to do with closing rank. While your post did contain some positive statements, I found it overall quite hostile and condescending and I think the phrase ""power drunk"" constitutes name calling even if it is followed by ""no insult intended."" Your use of the term ""coddling"" insults not only the leaders you accuse of doing it but also the participants you say were coddled. Polite? You must have a radically different definition of the word than I do.

For the record, I did not call you a wimp, I called your argument for posting anonymously wimpy which I stand behind and I would gladly say it to your face if I knew who you were. You call yourself shymember and hide behind my earlier post justifying anonymous posts by shy people but the tone and content of your post does not strike me as being that of a shy person so your reference to my post is surprising.

As for Christy, I do not give him carte blanche, but I do give him wide latitude in most situations and especially this one. Christy invented the SIGs and as if that wasn't enough, he has done more for the club in other respects than many would think humanly possible. Christy is the uber-expert on the SIGs and I can well understand his fury at reading your post. You presented yourself as a SIG expert. Nowhere in your original post did you mention that you were reporting from your own experience. Instead, you presented generalized information as though it were fact. On top of that, you did so in a hostile and provocative manner and under the cloak of anonymity. Sorry, you get no latitude for that.

You are obviously upset by the reaction to your post which you probably did not mean to be hostile. I'd prefer not to continue this discussion in this forum. If you'd like to continue this discussion privately, you know where to find me.

Anonymous's picture
Both A-Classic Leader & A-19 Leader (not verified)
"Who is ""Shymember OK"" ??????????"

"Good Lord !!!

I hope that this person is not one of the “A-Siggies” that we ""Groomed"" to be an ""A"" Rider....
And Hoping that this ""Piece of Work"" (Shymember_OK) had not ""Lead rides for the NYCC"".

I'm glad that 99% of the outcome (from the A-Classic Graduates & A-19 Graduates) did not constitute to his/her stupidity unlike this so called “Shymember A-SIG Graduate”.

I do not know why you are so hostile (being the fact that you reaped the benefits of the skills that we thought you)?

Maybe we need to have an Anger Maintenance Class on top of the Skills, First Aid, and Bike Maintenance, etc..etc... class that you so called completed.

Your posts on this site doesn't help the future ""A"" Riders ...
Instead.....your posts pollutes them.

If you are treated improperly from the A-Classic or the A-19 Leaders from your previous experience... then may I suggest that you state the facts or E-Mail the Leaders who done you harm from the NYCC website


Anonymous's picture
Christy Guzzetta (not verified)
not whining?

"This is not whining? If it isn't, I'd be fascinated to experience ""Shymember OK"" in his/her whining mode!"

Anonymous's picture
Christy Guzzetta (not verified)
not whining?

"This is not whining? If it isn't, I'd be fascinated to experience ""Shymember OK"" in his/her whining mode!

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)

Well, despite the muck-slinging that's been going on, I'm still looking forward to taking part in the A19 SIG for the first time this year, and I am hoping it will give me the proverbial boot up the arse I need in cycling terms.

I'm not sure I should comment on Shymember's remarks, but in the midst of his whingeing, he does make one point that is worth elaborating on. While I find it hard to believe that people have been given a hard time by ride leaders for allegedly doing something that the leader did not like, I can find it believable that a leader may have chastised another rider for doing something that was dangerous to him/herself or to other riders in the group. I somehow doubt that NYCC ride leaders are guilty of road rage though. But, in the unlikely event of being given a hard time by a leader because you did something he/she didn't like, you can always choose not to continue a ride, and wait for a ride with a different leader. Better still, you could lead one yourself.

I'm sure if a leader was found to be behaving in an inappropriate way on a regular basis, he or she would find that whenever they were leading rides, they wouldn't have too many punters turning up. Moreover, if enough members felt strongly about it and had a genuine grievance, they could take it to the club's board.

NYCC is a membership organisation, and it is the members who make it work, together with those few who give up many hours, which might otherwise be usefully spent riding their bikes or being with their families, in fulfilling the various board positions. Frankly, as a member, I have no time or respect for cowards who whinge and sling muck behind the shield of anonymity. So Shymember, do us all a favour and get back on yer bike and engage in a more constructive activity. Or if you are such an expert, show us how it should be done and lead some rides yourself.

Anonymous's picture
Shymember OK (not verified)

Shymember throws his arms up in disgust.

Shymember did say:

“However, like anything else, personality comes into play. Most SIG leaders are fine people, but some are a bit power drunk - no insult intended, but I have heard leaders talking about being in control of so many riders, hahaha!! (Diabolical laughter.) “

This makes Shymember hostile? Remember the Grinches? Chan? The racism and over-the-top flaming? That was hostile. Here, Shymember mentions experiences from the A SIG from the POV of a Sigger, not a leader. Some leaders are not nice –Shymember knows dozens of NYCC members and non-members alike who agree. Fact!!

It’s a matter of personality.

Shymember also speaks of restraint:

“ … you may want to break a nose or two. But, a grain of salt!”

Shymember also praises the SIGs, and rightly so, as most leaders are fine.

But so, what!. Shymember’s opinion and $1.50 get Shymember on mass transit.

So, Shymember ends the tale – and what happens in this thread is what sometimes happens on the road during SIGs when a leader with other agendas has a fit. The SIGs are fine programs, not assailed by these jerks-cum-deities.

Christy, the sore spot was not my aim.

Tom, you are closing ranks. You are loyal.

Now, Shymember returns to the salt mines.

Good day and good-bye.

Anonymous's picture
Paul Spraos (not verified)

I first read this thread a couple of days ago and I was hoping that someone would jump in to defend Shymember. I guess it’s going to be me.

Why can’t we focus on the issues? Shymember makes some seemingly valid points. He/she may be right or wrong, I don’t know. But in reading the responses, my recommended daily allowance of hostility and pejoratives was quickly exceeded.

God knows, there have been some nasty and unhelpful anonymous posts on this board in the past. If Shymember’s an example of the worst we’re going to see under the new format, then I say Be Thankful.

Anonymous's picture
Shymember OK (not verified)


Thank-you, Paul, not so much for the defense, but for posting and showing that some folks still are open-minded.

Discussion is he hallmark of a successful board. It seems that here, however, repression rules.

Again, I say, the A SIG is a fine program that has a handful of jerky leaders. No hostility from me – I am smiling as I dismiss these poor excuses for leaders/human beings. If you want hostility, hire me to do what I do for a living ;-) (BTW, that was a joke, nudge, nudge.)

Worse, though, is that the flamers to my post are the A SIG creator and the NYCC president!!!

Shame on both of them.

Luckily, I am anonymous, so they cannot flame to “my face” – I may weaken in my restraint.

Peace and freedom of opinion,


Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Academy Award-winning performance

"From ""Chicago.""

You'll appreciate the irony:

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle 'em
Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give 'em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather 'em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?
What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you're just disgusting?
Razzle dazzle 'em
And they'll never catch wise!

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle dazzle 'em
Give 'em a show that's so splendiferous
Row after row will grow vociferous
Give 'em the old flim flam flummox
Fool and fracture 'em
How can they hear the truth above the roar?
Throw 'em a fake and a finagle
They'll never know you're just a bagel,
Razzle dazzle 'em
And they'll beg you for more!

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle 'em
Back since the days of old Methuselah
Everyone loves the big bambooz-a-ler
Give 'em the old three ring circus
Stun and stagger 'em
When you're in trouble, go into your dance
Though you are stiffer than a girder
They let you get away with murder
Razzle dazzle 'em
And you've got a romance

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle dazzle 'em
Give 'em an act that's unassailable
They'll wait a year 'till you're available!
Give 'em the old double whammy
Daze and dizzy'em
Show 'em the first rate sorcerer you are
Long as you keep 'em way off balance
How can they spot you got no talents?

Razzle dazzle 'em

Razzle dazzle 'em

Razzle dazzle 'em

And they'll make you a star!

(Thunderous applause)


Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Shymember Logic

Agree with Shymember = Open Minded

Disagree with Shymember = Flamer

My offer to discuss this privately still stands.

Anonymous's picture
Yogi On Bike (not verified)
Annual A-Sig debates

I’m surprised at why we are still frustrated with anonymous posts in a public forum. Forums attract trolls; it’s the nature of the beast. When you go on a fast A-ride, the pace will be dictated by the stronger riders. (No one complains about going too fast on 9W)

When someone post an inflammatory opinion on this board (baiting), expect people to come down on you. Even if you claim to be troll wary while being the biggest troll on this new board. ‘Not So Shy’ was smart / cowardly not to use his real name on this board. If he keeps on typing, he might become the new VC with better grammar.

Peter and Robin did a great job with the new features on the message board, but it’s not the same as sending an email to your friends. If you post an opinion, somebody will feel the need to correct you or show his / her superiority. I posted a simple question about chain lube last week as a commuter (thanks for the helpful responses and info, I’m sure it helped other members as well). Even that turned into a pissing contest (52 inches btw).

I don’t know what the solution is. It’s easy to say ‘ignore the trolls’ until someone attacks what you’re sensitive about. Maybe no anonymous posting on this board and a second board where everybody is somewhat protected by the cyber shadows (– we do like to ride with each other). Maybe that will promote a freer exchange of differing opinions; without feeling contrary points of views as personal attacks. Have a little fun with our alter egos and share our common passion without getting personalities involved. Or maybe it’s not our nature as New Yorkers that we act civil towards each other. Maybe each member should not have equal voice because some contribute nothing. So we’ll keep using this wonderful board for canceling rides because it’s cold in the winter.

Self righteously yours,
Charles Lam

-No offense intended towards anybody or anything.
-No excess petroleum was used.
-Only small microbes were harmed during the typing of this post.

Anonymous's picture
Shymember OK (not verified)

Well, at least some more comments that are at least not flames of “fury,” to quote our pres., Tom (“I can well understand his (creator’s) fury at reading your post.”) Yeah, close ranks, Tom. Let Christy flame, name-call and spout his frustrated fury. Carte blanche for you too, I’m, sure. Not for me??

If people wish info on the A SIG, it is important that they know they that some, just a few, leaders are rude and jerky. Sorry, but it’s true. How that offends creator or pres is beyond me. How my well-placed anonymity matters is equally besides the point.

Perhaps I am idealistic, but I did not intend to troll. I wanted anyone who signs up to be ready to witness someone (themselves?) being publicly berated (Arated ;-) for not exhibiting what that leader considers proper riding form. My friends who took the A SIG before me told me of it, others agree, and have, along with myself, witnessed it - and I do not want people to react to it. It happens and probably will again.

And there is coddling, obvious coddling. And it is a shame.

Maybe a formal complaint procedure should be set-up … what the … this NYCC. I AM idealistic.

BUT, the program is great – take it. These few rude leaders cannot really ruin the SIG – if you are ready for their antics. Laugh at them as they tantrum about on 9W.

Better yet, drop ‘em like hot buns. Now …

THAT’S trolling.

Love, Shy …

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Put Up or Shut Up

You have tried to bait me in 3 separate posts to this thread since my offer to discuss this privately. I see no point in taking up any more space with this argument.

If you are not willing to discuss this member to member, in private and away from the flamers and trolls, then I can only conclude that you are more interested in seeking attention and stirring up controversy than anything constructive.

Anonymous's picture
Shymember OK (not verified)
Almost Ready for the Big Plate!

"Put up/Shut up??

Class act Tom. I come back from a ride to this!

No baiting here. You call me names, side with Christy's on-line tantrums and I call it. You do enable his ""fury."" But somehow, I'm the pest because you don't know my name????????? Aside from your posture here and my comments thereto, what have I said that is even off-colour about Chrisy, you, the club or even the SIGs? The SIGs have a couple jerky leaders - that does not reflect on you, Christy - just the jerky leaders.

What the *** about the SIGs? That's the topic.

You are the baiter. I am, no my posts, are wimpy you say. They are just honest assessments. Darn! Read your words, Christy's - you guys (esp Christy) are way out of focus. Acting like nasty gutter snipes. Your administrative title as pres gives you no edge here. If you cannot be logical, and addresss SIGs, at least be civil to me. Try!

How many folks tune in here and say _____ this club. I know 3, and counting. They think I'm a fool for quibbling about what amounts to nothing.

BTW, the SIGs are fine programs! You have not once addressed this, pres!

No, let's end this.


Anonymous's picture
Shymember OK (not verified)

BTW, you can disagree with me all you want. Just don't call me names (wimp), defend those who fly off the handle bars (joke) (Christy), act juvenile (Shut up) and focus on anonymity alone (SIG SIG SIG).

Remember, I Shy.

Good-bye, or au revoir ...?

cycling trips