I’ve been bad lately. Haven’t been riding much over the past couple of weeks. When I have ridden, my mileage has been below what my average rides were a couple of months ago. The one longer ride I took recently showed me just how much my biking fitness has declined. I’m in a biking slump.
But there are some signs that I’ll be on the rebound soon. For starters, my bike club had its monthly meeting tonight. I don’t usually go, but made it a point to be there tonight. They were collecting our annual dues, and I wanted to make sure I paid up. Although I haven’t been on a club ride since October, I do like these folks, and do want to continue riding with them.
Turnout was pretty high, both because of the dues thing and because we got our first look at the design for this year’s club jerseys. And it pleased me to find myself seated at a table with several folks I’ve ridden with a lot on past rides. David, and Pippa, and Bob, and Debra have all gotten mentions in this blog from time to time. Anyway, I forget who started the discussion, but we reached a consensus that we’re tired of showing up for club rides and getting left behind by the strong riders (see “ABC” from way back in March).
We had all ridden on “B” rides with each other at various times during last summer, and we decided we had to make the B’s in the club a visible, viable contingent. One of us proposed that we round up a core of B riders — say, eight or so — who we could count on to be more-or-less regulars on weekend rides. Then each of us would take a turn as B ride leader. The idea is, if other slower riders know there will be a group of folks out each week who won’t be keeping a 17 mph average over 45 miles, they will be more likely to show up themselves and grow the ranks.
I’m ready. I had already decided that I would step up and offer to lead more B rides this year. It was great to learn that others share my attitude.
A nasty cold snap seems to be easing. This weekend could be the start of this year’s real riding.
Good call. There’s enough to dissuade less gung-ho cyclists as it is, without those who are fitter effectively cocking a snook.
I can understand the need to push on and maintain a speed that benefits the rider’s own physiology, but group rides surely should have a different dynamic. There’s plenty of time for athletic cyclists to do their thing, solo if required. However, participitating in a group ride isn’t merely about tuning a body for high performance: there exists an important social facet too, which shouldn’t be overlooked.
Organising into groups based on ability is a grand idea, even in small cycling clubs. It reinforces group coherence, and the reduces the likelihood that a slower cyclist may stop attending.
Ah ha! Another example of two countries separated by a common language.
My nasty cold snap should be over any month now 😉
@Doc: I guess that’s why they call them “group” rides. I never get dropped riding solo.
@Noob: Thanks for the research, I had no idea what that meant. Sorry, Doc.