A sig feedback

4 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Here's some feedback about the classic sig from a rider
who's not so shy.

Overall, it was the most rewarding training group I've
been in. The riders were motivated and friendly, as
were the leaders for the most part. I strongly recommend
it to anyone at the right (modest) athletic ability and
enough free time. You'll ride yourself into shape,
develop pace line skills, and learn the best rides near

Like the shy rider, I have some constructive criticism.
One concerns leaders annoying behavior such as yelling at
a rider inappropriately. In more than ten long rides and
with I don't know how many leaders I witnessed this twice
and heard about it a few more times. The other concerns
pace and dropping slower riders, which was a worry for
all but the strongest riders from time to time. The sig
would have been more enjoyable if there had been a clearer
policy on drops.

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
By Unpopular Demand

"Here is my totally biased Presidential spin on the SIGs.

First, I would reiterate what our brilliant ex-webmistress said, if you want to know about the A Classic SIG, ask Christy Guzzetta, he is the man!!

My experience? I took the A Classic SIG in 1996. At that time, there was only one A SIG and it was sink or swim. To my own surprise and amazement, I swam!! And, it changed my life, literally. I can't recommend it strongly enough, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

About leaders. It's probably irrelevant to discuss the leaders from 1996 because I don't think any of them are still leaders except of course Christy and Jody. I'll do it anyway. I can honestly say, I didn't find any of them egotistical or unnecessarily harsh. Of course, I needed criticism and was more than willing to accept it. I was a square peddling wannabe in those days, some might argue I still am. To this day, any time I take a downhill, I can still hear Carolyn White screaming in my ear ""On the drops!!!"" or on the flats in a tight paceline ""Break and pedal!!!"" I cherish those memories and I know they have made me a better cyclist.

I've no doubt there are equally great leaders in today's crop. Frank G. and Timothy M. are and I'm sure there are many others. Some have noted that some of the leaders are excessively harsh in their criticism. The best advice I can give in that situation is to make your feelings known either to the leader in question or the captain or even to me. The SIGs are a uniquely cooperative experience. The success of the SIGs depends not only on the leaders but the participants as well, each and every one of them. That is why it is crucial to keep communication open and not allow bad feelings to fester.

BTW, I took the B SIG in 1995 with the legendary Irv Weisman. That was a great experience as well and I know that Eva Wirth and her posse run a fantastic program. And for the C SIG, you can't ask for a better team than Gary McGraime and Pat Janoff and their gang.

- Tom

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)

Yikes! Almost forgot the A19!!!

Dr. Ed Fishkin was one of the leaders from my A SIG days. He exudes patience, knowledge and experience and has assembled a great crew of leaders. The A19 is a great introduction to paceline skills at a mellower pace than the A Classic. I've never taken the A19 myself but our club first lady did it twice and had a great time both times, made many new friends and improved tremedously as a cyclist.

Hope I haven't forgotten anything else!?!!

Anonymous's picture
banana guy (not verified)
A-19 sig

I rode with Dr. Ed's A-19 2002 sig and found it, more than anything, a great way to kick-start into shape for spring.

I had been a certifiable road rider for many years, had dabbled about in competition, ridden centuries, credit-card toured, even led rides with btcnj on THAT side of the river.
Then i endured the A-19 SIG.
building camaraderie and developing teamwork were probably the best aspects of the experience. I will always remember the 60 or so riders who, for those months, were my constant companions, mutual coaches, and remain, to this day, the only riders i am comfortable with in a tight paceline.
You may or may not be challenged physically, but you will learn to communicate, cooperate, and perhaps ride more competently and intelligently.
There is no experience like the first A-19 ride after a SIG, when all of the riders instinctively fall into a tight double paceline leaving the boathouse.

Additional bennies:
@ Dr. Ed's 'cycling medic' class. This should be required before one gets on any bike.
@ the 'Cycling Skills' day. and afterward, no dabbing the ramp to the GW bridge. and how long can you trackstand?
@ Dr. Ed's bike mechanics day. What the man can do with a spoke wrench..he should have been a surgeon!
@ the pre-graduation dinner! CARBO LOAD!! The joys of pasta and cannollis! (and seeing your SIG-mates in STREET CLOTHES! (they sure looked different)
@ the Co-leaders (i wont try to name them all) some were good, some were better (personality is an iffy thing) but all had something to give. And when you ride with them months later, it is as if you had never left.

Yes, there were bad days. Some were disdained. We had to leave some behind. Our injured rode in our memories. But we became a UNIT, working together.

So, Go For It! Do it, you will not regret it.

(jeez, did i write all that?)

See you on the road!

Anonymous's picture
Michael Yarmark (not verified)
A-19 and A-Classic

If you can dedicate the time, and you’re willing to learn, I highly recommend you take one of the club’s SIGs. I did the A-19 in 2001 and the A-Classic last year. They were both great experiences.

Even though I was a seasoned bike rider when I started the A-19, I had gotten a road bike just a week before the SIG started. The A-19 turned me into a full-fledged roadie. The leaders were patient and diligent, and the camaraderie was great.

The A-Classic is a bit more challenging – as it should be. The pace is quicker, and the rides more difficult. I blame the degree of my personal difficulty at times to missing most of April’s SIGs because of business travel and a vacation, but meeting its challenges has made me a stronger cyclist.

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