Thursday, January 22, 2009

Making Friends

It didn't take long before I found myself feeling sorta lonely on my rides. Not feelings very safe. Not feeling like I knew where I was going. Not being able to related my progress to others. So I did a Google search for cycling clubs in my area. I found one, saw they had a Saturday ride, and I went and showed up.

Everyone I met was very nice. The ride had about 40 people on it. People looked out for one another. I got to see some really good cyclists and see how they were doing it. At the end of the ride, I found out, I'm pretty good on a bike. I don't suck nearly as much as I thought I did. So I decided to do a second ride next week.

This ride had tons of nice people too. The same amount of people showed up. Some people looked out for one another. This ride was a nightmare. The leader just sorta took off. Didn't divide into groups. Didn't ask who was new. Didn't offer directions to new riders. I ended up hooking up with a couple who was riding with the club for the first time. Luckily the route we were on was one I was very familiar with, because before long I was in a group that was dropped from the main group.

I really wanted to ride fast. I really wanted to push myself. However, I was with people who I just met and they were nice and I didn't want to just take off on them. I roughly knew the route. They didn't. It didn't seem right to just go and race ahead. They were by far stronger riders than I am. Probably could climb all day if they wanted to, but I was faster. So I slowed it down and hung with them and guided them along the route when we came to turns. After all, this is why I wanted to be in a club in the first place. To ride with cool people.

The first ride I went on was fantastic. I felt very looked after and I learned a lot. The second ride I was sorta on my own and looking after others. Not really what I wanted, but maybe something I needed. I don't have a lot of cycling confidence, but here I was making others feel confident in where they were and that someone was looking out for them. My cycling performance wasn't a hinderance and didn't even really come into play. My cycling ability was 2nd nature and I think that's what I ultimately want.

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