Yowamushi Pedal: Special Ride is one of those OVAs where you expect it to be pure ridiculous boring filler for the OVA - and, to a degree, this would be correct. It's a filler of Onoda and Makishima bonding - on Makishima’s decision. It leads to Onoda’s otaku ways almost turning Makishima off of him entirely and wanting to leave, only for the OVA to take us on a new journey across the bike training path.
For an OVA, there isn’t really anything special about it - it’s the same basic premise. Some filler, some laughs, nothing that really aids the plot - it’s essentially fanservice of more screen time for the anime. However, Special Ride does so in a way that does not really let the fans down. It’s funny, it’s true to our characters, it’s a giggle, and it’s enjoyable. It’s nice little tidbits to add on to what the characters are like.
I really enjoyed this OVA. It was refreshing in the anime world where it focuses on churning out more and more content for money grabs. This works in the world of YowaPeda and gives so much more depth to some of the characters with nothing more than including some out of plot add ons. It’s funny, I laughed a bit too much, (and, as a Makishima fan, it was great to see more of him, as a main character in this OVA than a side character to the rest of the team).
If you aren’t a fan, there may not be much here for you - there isn’t much introduction to the main theme of Yowa nor the characters but it could be a good place to start and introduce yourself to the universe. If you are a fan and debating watching Special Ride, I would say go for it. It’s got a bit of charm, it’s funny, and it has a decent premise and it’s super sweet to see the way things go out of tournaments and training.