I’ve been plagued with back problems (which turned out to be leg problems) this year, so I am way behind on my riding target of 2500 miles. So we’ve gotten just over half the way through the year and I’ve so far only ridden 921 miles. What I hadn’t done yet this year, until last weekend, is to do something that I did a few times last autumn, which really helped with mileage, I rode with the club.
It wasn’t only for health reasons that I hadn’t ridden with the club since December, but that I hadn’t really enjoyed it. I had previously questioned weather it was that group of riders, or the pace that the club rides at that I had an issue with, and how do I “find a club that I do feel that I fit into, and does embrace why I ride?”
My sister asked me on Twitter had I “thought about setting up your own club? I bet there are others who feel the same as you.” Well… I had, but “I don’t like the feeling of having to ride. I like riding when I want to, and I’m not sure if I would when I had to.” We used to have an mountain bike club at work, and I really didn’t enjoy having to to go out and ride with them if I just wasn’t feeling it that day. I have never had the constitution to force myself to exercise, which is why I never go to gyms, but I don’t think it’s a laziness thing.
I had heard the club discussing the rides they were going on. Some of them were saying they had a medium-fast and a medium group, with others disagreeing and saying what they had were two fast groups. Either way, over the weeks that followed, they appeared to not be changing how they rode. However, I then ended up talking to one of them at work when he had come into have his bike fixed. I knew he was in the ‘two fast groups’ camp, is I suggested that you ignore the pace label and start a group ride called the social ride. It does ride at a slower pace, covers less distance, and if we see nice cafe or pub, we stop at it. His face lit up, and at the next club meeting he suggested it. The first one was last Saturday, and it was great. The atmosphere was better, it felt more like going for a ride with friends and less like forced fun. Ironically, checking Strava afterwards, it turns out that the group had only ridden 0.1mph slower than the other group. We’d ridden at 17.6mph, covered 43 miles, but stopped in he middle for coffee and cake. So we then arrived back at the shop just 15 minutes before the other group that had ridden 22 miles further than we had. It was by far the best club ride that I’d been on, and not just because of the cake, but the fact that we got talk more and take a look around to see where we were. If the social ride continues, then so will I.