I don’t do group rides.
For those who have read or follow my blog over the years know that most of the rides I do are long distance or with a few friends. However I stumbled across a local group of riders – Fat Bastards Riding Club – who intrigued me and when they advertised a day ride I thought … why not.
So as I pulled into the meeting location I was surprised to see over 20 bikes. That’s considerably more than I’ve ridden with before.
With that many riders I wasn’t quite sure how to approach the ride. I had no idea how the group ride – do they ride as a group or does the group fracture with riders going at their own pace? Are there unwritten rules that I don’t know about in regards to your location within the group? Are there boy racers in the group that can put others at risk because of their actions? Is there extensive mucking around at stops?
So initially I decided to just sit back and observe the group and its dynamics and then find my groove. It didn’t take long for the group to sort itself out and before long I was running with my crowd.
The downside of group riding – time – in a group this size time just disappears! Pulling into the service station for fuel, stopping for coffee, or for lunch just takes an extensive amount of time as there are so many bikes to fill or people to serve. Between 9:45 and 15:30 we only covered 300km – that’s not something that I’m used to.
The positives – what a great group, an eclectic mix of bikes, experience, and people with a common theme … a love of riding. And while we didn’t do many miles for the day it actually didn’t matter it was just great to get out, share the road with other like minded riders, and hang out.
I may need to rethink my opening statement.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m still a long distance rider, but I think I may need to reevaluate what my definition of ‘ride’ is. Sometimes it is about setting off before the sun is up, riding until the sun disappears over the horizon, and then continuing into the solitude of darkness. And other times it may be just hanging out with other riders and doing a few miles together.
Thanks guys it was great sharing the road today.