Lately, doing organized rides as training for the MS 150, or just to ride with a group on a different route, or in the MS 150 itself, I’ve been noticing lots of people riding hybrid bikes. My mindset has mostly been that hybrids are great for tooling around the neighborhood, riding easy bike trails, and are for older folks who want a more upright riding position than they can get on a road bike.
I guess I’m surprised when I see them at these events, because I don’t see hybrids riding the roads a lot in my area. Except for my wife. She’ll tackle our regular Mopac route on her 1992 Trek 700, and she’ll turn out for group rides as well. She’ll take the shorter route option, but she’ll put miles under her.
At the MS 150, lots of riders rode hybrids. I assume these are people who were riding for a cause, and were willing to suffer a little in order to do their part to fight MS.
I’m also betting a lot of them are getting to be pretty good riders on their hybrids. One thing I noticed on the MS 150 was that I kept passing them. That means they got out in front of me somehow — whether it was by getting a jump at the start, or taking less time at rest stops (probably). And I’m not too proud to say that some hybrids passed me on the road during that ride. Not that many. Always ridden by athletic young women loaded with energy.
The hybrid for them might be their first bike, or their reintroduction to riding after years off. And getting good on a hybrid means they might take the next step, and buy a road bike. But I’ll bet most of them keep their hybrids, too.