Group Rides go down everyday in cities, towns, and villages around the world. Cyclists of all stripes meet up at coffee shops, bike shops, and street corners at a predetermined hour.These regular rides typically follow the same route, surge at the same hills, sprint for the same signs, and back off at the same intersections. With all this sameness, you’d think riders would get bored; but actually the opposite is true. Every ride is different with its own qualities depending on the day, route, weather, and riders. It’s addictive, exciting, and best of all, FUN! This is the BEAUTY of the Group Ride.
To the uninitiated, cycling is sometimes viewed as an individual pursuit or maybe something to be shared with a few friends. But you can only be Han Solo for so long. Something special happens when a group of 20-30 riders all show up at the same place, chat for a few minutes, click into their pedals simultaneously, and roll away into the morning in a blur of color and harmony of movement. This is the POETRY of the Group Ride.
As the ride rolls on, the intensity picks up. In a group, someone’s always fresh and ready to push the pace. Before long, the group is stretched out into a long thin line and you’re low over the bars, eyes fixed on the wheel in front of you, heating up in the cool morning. Some mornings you cruise along effortlessly, other mornings you’re fighting for your life. This is the BATTLE of the Group Ride.
The vast majority of us in the Group Ride have jobs and many have families. We may never aspire to a spot on an elite team or a job in the industry (though both are worthy aspirations if you have them). I can’t move to Belgium and I don’t have time to ride across the country (though both sound awesome). But we love to ride our bikes. I just want to get in some good miles before work and on the weekends. I used to race more often than I do now, and even when I race now I usually prefer my age group (35+) to category (3).
Being a regular on a Group Ride gives us challenge, motivation, accountability, fellowship, a goal, and a little bit of daily purpose alongside our bigger purposes. When you get the kids to bed on time, get yourself good sleep, wake up early before anyone else, push yourself on the road with those like-minded, and have more fun before 9am than most people have all day…
This is the Art of the Group Ride.
All posts with specific Group Ride Tips are categorized under Group Ride Wisdom.
Thanks for visiting. Ride on…