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.