"Whenever there's more than one bike, its a race...and sometimes it only takes one." Matt Franzen
Some times people who show up for the Thursday shop ride loose heart when they see all the bright jerseys and nice bikes and slink back to their cars, not wanting to ruin everyone's fun. Just before we left this week, I saw one rider slip away like that and I was sad. Another we managed to coax to stay and ride. "How fast are you guy's going to go?, she asked. The unwilling leader this week, I answered "recovery pace", ( too proud to reveal that I usually average 15 mph) and explained that we regroup several times along the route.
She replied "You guys go and have a nice ride, I'll come back another week" Just when I ran out of ideas, a couple of the other guys piped up with "the regrouping is our favorite part!" and saved the situation for me. Off we went, finding that there was really no need to wait and regroup. Along the route, after the traffic light at the college, when we all happened to be following her, the usual suspect coming the other way in the usual 4 x 4 pickup with canopy and extra cab blurted out "You guys are getting your ass kicked by a girl!" Rough justice.
The only other car incident occured when I should have been more attentive to the safety of the group instead of chatting. One of the other riders noticed that we were holding up a motorist. I felt reprieved when I discovered it was a Prius, and thus was making no sound whatsoever. How often do you go on a group ride and share conversation other than "Car back." or "Glass"? Last week I was the "Weak Sister" and felt conflicted about going but I went because I saw a chance to ride with someone I have long known only as a customer.
I enjoyed a wonderful conversation, getting to know a guy that I had yet to ride with after many years of working on his bikes. This week I overheard some riders behind me doing the same. That's what it's all about, my friends. That's why we ride every Thursday.