Bah, Humbug, Hogwich Race???

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19 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"Hi Todd,

Again thanks for leading the Hogwich. Your dedication and devotion makes riding on Sunday's both fun and a challenge for this non-racer except for this past Sunday.

What the heck happened on Sunday 12/24 to this ride? The week before, we rode back from Toga as a tight pretty group. In fact YOU insisted that we ride back as a unit and the faster riders held back so that the slower riders (myself and 4 or so others) could end the ride as a tight unit.
I must commend you on that great leadership manuever and say it was a great jesture and sacrifice of the stronger riders, especially yourself.

Unourtunatly, I love a challenge and I feel that I am up to the ride level as listed but on 12/24 the ride took on a race mentallity. Why did this happen and should this have happened.

In my opinion, all riders must listen to the leader and understand that this is a group ride.
Todd,I would like to suggest that in order to ease your efforts in keeping the ride together you
enlist another rider who will share the responsibilities with you simply for saftey sake.
I think there was a a rider on the first three rides but not the fourth who helped and stayed back a bit to
make sure everyone was accounted for.

Why were the lead riders in the pace line not going to the rear of the group. I pulled only once in 18 miles. It looked like a free for all once we hit Oak Tree.
Is this something new and no one told me?
Why were the lead riders not slowing when instructed.
Why was this a race with people dropping others in the group. Why was the ride going to become a hammerfest on the ride back from Toga.

Todd, I ride for the joy of it and the challenge you present. Take YOUR ride back. Lead the ride as you see fit, only do it. Do not allow the ride to lead you.
I am sure you can out ride them all (my observation), simply decide whose ride it is.
If you want to run it as a race, then list it as such.
Good or Bad, I want to ride hard, learn fron riders as yourself and have fun.
I beleive that all riders will be in a safer enviornment if the ride stays in control.

One more thought regarding myself only. If you beleive that I do not belong on the ride as a slower rider, I will respect your suggestion and I find a slower ride or ride by myself. We all have our limits and I recognize mine, but I will still ride within them.

PS. Even though I was dropped on the first half and decided to go my own way on Part two it was a GREAT day for me. My wheel seemed out of true earlier on and by not fighting the Hammerfest I brought the bike to Piermont, where they noticed my rim was cracked. Luckily for me I took control of MY ride and decided to play it safe. I wonder had I joined the hammerfest who would have been there for me???


Robert ""Not the Slowest"" Marcus"

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Criticizing Santa on Xmas!!!!

Looks like you have what it takes to co-lead.

Dynamics on the road sometimes don't come out as you had planned. And winter rides tend to be a collection of all sorts of dogs who have been inside for too long. Some just want to be petted and go for a stroll. Others need a heavy dose of putting the pedal to the metal. In a perfect world we would have more rides listed at different paces. Count the blessing that this ride is listed: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king.

If you are on a ride where the pace begins to spiral out of control, say something. Worse case scenario; no one gets lost going to Nyack.

Todd is a saint for committing himself to the ride calendar.

Anonymous's picture
Robert Marcus (not verified)

"Hi Hank,

Santa will forgive me ( I hope).
I have only the utmost respect for Todd in his leadership talents and riding abilities. I beleive the ride got away from him for several reasons.

Todd did mention to me at Toga his frustration in what this ride became and was becoming on the return. I felt it was better to back off at that point since he has been doing this longer than I have been riding.
I understand a leaders frustration when your plan turns in a direction unto itself. I own a business and always have to react to the moment to keep the course straight.

This is not a Todd Bashing, but rather a Todd praising.
If I had the ability to assist I would or at least try. In this particular ride I was unable to offer my concerns since I was focusing on my own wheel issues and trying to keep up. On rides that are a bit slower,
I always volunteer and allow the leader to decide whether they accept or not.

Robert ""Not the slowest' Marcus"

Anonymous's picture
rbj (not verified)
hammering in Dec

Hi Robert,
In an ideal (for some) world, rides would always go as planned, and at a consistent pace where no one gets dropped. However, a leader cannot 'control' riders all the time - if faster riders decide to take off, it's not the ride leader's responsibility to chase them down. The fact is, the others don’t have to follow – it takes discipline to just let those riders go. Quite often you can form another group that desires to ride at a more consistent pace.

Anonymous's picture
Robert Marcus (not verified)

Well said.

But what if the leader runs with the pack???

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Freud said people are not always rational

"Nothing is quite as good as submitting to temptation.

""The best laid plans of mice and men...."""

Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)

Wasn't there a recent NY Times article that Freud was getting some extra action on the side?


I beleive there is always room for improvement.

Either you are part of the Solution or part of the problem. Choose one. I have and I say fix the problem.

Anonymous's picture
rbj (not verified)

I guess the best thing is to then lead a second group and hope you'll have some takers!

Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)

The Hogwich ride is a good ride. The idea should be to have those who feel they can not ride as a team set up their own ride. This of course should be a decision Todd has to make.

Improving the ride is the Best answer. Setting up another ride may be an option, but not my goal.

Robert Marcus

Anonymous's picture
Arty (not verified)
great ride ..thanks! (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Todd Brilliant (not verified)
sorry folks

yeah, i did lose control of the ride and decided to stop being a nazi and just hammer away and have fun.

i had a great time after i decided to stop leading. for various reasons this ride just wasn't meant to be a hogwich ride and i didn't want to fight it all the way home.

i thought i was being flexible. sorry if this was a problem for some.

see you all next year!

Anonymous's picture
jb (not verified)
Lot's of strong riders and a crash too.

"Todd had told me that you guys had been racing up Lil Tor (naturally I was excited about that), but after the re-group I was also surprised that the ride took on a race vibe over 20 miles out from the bridge. Todd were you getting back at me for Lil Tor? Quickly off the back of the lead group I was trying my hardest to organize a ""chase"" to bring back Mr. Hogwich and that other really fit gentleman. What is your name?

Just before latching onto the 2nd group 2 guys went down hard and skidded into the middle of 9W opposite Rockland Lake-curiously right where the shoulder is at least 6' wide. Luckily for them there was no traffic. Sometimes it pays to be dropped otherwise my season might have been over before it even started. Weird how that works.

One injured rider, Sam, cut up his knee and ruined his bike (broken carbon seat stay, severely bent derailer hanger, busted Dura Ace shifter etc.). Sam how are your injuries and any hope in salvaging your ride? How did you end up getting home? I hope you are OK.

Anonymous's picture
Todd Brilliant (not verified)
hope you're okay, sam (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Sam AA (not verified)
Broken bike but no broken bones

"It could have been much worse considering the speed. I visited the hospital in the evening, doctor said I have tearing of the ligaments that hold the knee joint together and scrapes and abrasions further up my leg. I will need a new frame (for my bike that is!)
Richard Ramon was very kind to go back from GWB to Nyack and give me a ride home. Thank you Rich. And thanks for all the riders who stopped where the crash happened and who waited at Toga and managed to send back a car. I hope to see you soon.

Anonymous's picture
Avi Robinson (not verified)
Good to hear you're OK Sam

Though it sounds like you have some rehab ahead of you. Best of luck.

Avi (said hi to you at Runcible)

Anonymous's picture
Aaron (not verified)

Sam, sorry to hear about the injury. Good luck with the rehab if that's in your future.

So I guess I am partially to blame for the race-like atmosphere of the ride--I went with Todd in haste down 9W towards Toga, trying to keep our distance from the chase pack. I'm sorry this broke up the group.

Anyway, I enjoyed the ride, both in the beginning when the pace was relatively comfortable and later on when it wasn't so. I'm looking forward to future hogwich rides, and I promise not to participate in any splintering of the group. What is a hogwich anyway?

Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)

Have a Great New Year Todd.
I will return
I Await your challenge.
I will kick ass and climb like a young goat in 2007.

Best of all ""I did have fun"". Okay 3 outta 4 aint bad.

Robert ""Not the Slowest"" Marcus

Anonymous's picture
Steve W (not verified)
The Slowest


I plan to get back out on the road with the Hogwich group in January. Given my current form, I will be the slowest, especially up Little Tor. I need to build up my conditioning a little more slowly and at this time of year can't maintain anything approaching race pace.

So if you need a wheel to ride back with, you will probably see me at the back, watching the Hogwich group ride into the setting sun.


Anonymous's picture
Uli (not verified)

It's tough being a leader. Especially on a ride designed to work as a fine tuned group. It only takes one or two people who are unable to check their egos or who lack maturity and self discipline to understand and appreciate the meaning of this ride. I'm sorry to hear one (or two?!) people took a spill. Perhaps it a sign that the ride is out of control? Certainly this is no reflection on the leader, but rather a reflection of those who show up. If everyone doesn't do their part, a ride like this can't work. I hope everyone takes a minute to understand this. I hope the HogWich ride continues. I also hope those who show up understand it's about keeping everyone together, about riding smoothly as a cohesive group.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)

One nice thing about a ride with featured hill climbs is that it gives prospective hammerheads opportunities to blow off steam. A discussion prior to the ride by the leader, with unblinking eyes, regarding paceline rules (speed/ time up front, etc) should keep the group in line. Riders are expected to take these climbs at their own pace, then regroup at designated places. However, sometimes that thin veneer of order breaks.

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