Mixed feelings

I’m going on a club ride today. I have mixed feelings because, while I think it should be enjoyable, a nice day, 46 miles at 13-15 mph on flat roads, and lord knows I need to stretch out on a bike & recover from the past week….I just don’t trust that the ride leader is going to hold the group to the posted pace.

I have had some WONDERFUL slow rides in the past several weeks. Rides with small groups or just one other person, going just the right pace for enjoying nature and conversation. Relaxing. Centering. The rides weren’t even all that slow, but we weren’t trying to bust ass or hit a certain mph target.

I don’t want the competitiveness and need-for-speed of others to harsh my cycling mellow.

I understand that others want to do their personal best and ride faster and/or longer. But that is NOT what I think club rides are supposed to be about. Choosing a club rides is a decision to ride WITH OTHER PEOPLE. Other people who RIDE DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU. And you all stick together.

I am probably worrying about nothing. But this is how I feel as I get ready to go join the others for the ride.

UPDATE:  I was more or less right.  The ride started off fun, but the cool kids rode a lot faster than I…and then the headwinds started, and they got stronger.  The ride became a chore.  I had worked hard all week, and I didn’t particularly enjoy working so hard today.

The fun parts included the snack stop at the work place of a cycling club friend.  His wife had food ready, and we got to see his warehouse of ~50 classic Schwinns.  And talking to somebody I know & like but see rarely, and talking to a new person who coached me to catch up with the group on the second half of the ride.



2 thoughts on “Mixed feelings

  1. G.E.

    You know, I come across a lot of different posts on the web, and I find that there are others who feel similar emotions/have like thoughts to this post. I am definitely one of them. For me, it’s just difficult to find anyone to ride with at all, and it seems like the only options are “club rides” that inevitably turn into some type of personal nightmare when the speeds turn excessive. I enjoy an occasional fast ride (but that’s “fast” in my terms, not cycling world terms), but when I ride with someone (or many someones) I would like them to stick to their posted speeds, rather than deciding that they’ll just ignore it. I’m not sure how to break this cycle (no pun intended) with club rides, nor where to look locally for like-minded cyclists. I start feeling like I need to put out a Craigslist ad seeking cycling friends who don’t want to break warp speed. This year, I’ve kind of made my peace with riding alone (other than my husband, I’ve only been on 3 rides with others), but it’s still difficult when I see others who are riding and talking and I can’t help but long for that sort of connection to other cyclists. I live in the land of cycling pros (and wannabe pros), so it seems so difficult to find people to ride with who have slower pace wants/desires.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I feel for you, and even though I don’t have a solution, I keep looking for the answer myself. I hope you find a group that works well soon. :O)

  2. annesquared

    I haven’t seen a post in a while – thot I’d pop in a say “hi” – I still gets several readers a week on RAGRAI/Iowa and your posts –
    Hopefully next summer I can at least get out and about to meet some fellow bloggers 🙂
    Gee, last year had the first runner.
    I wonder how feasible it would be to do RAGBRAI on horseback? 🙂 🙂
    I’d need a new horse likely every day…but this is Iowa 🙂


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