Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On being a ride leader.....

When putting together a ride there’s a line that you eventually have to cross. I’m not sure at what point it happens, but at some point it goes from just getting together with a bunch of people for a ride, to you actually “organizing” the ride.
Now, while this may seem like a small differentiation its not. When you just show up to ride, everyone is kind of on their own and that’s cool. But, when you “organize” a ride there’s a whole level of responsibility that goes along with it.
Is everyone going to be ok on the ride, is everyone going to have fun, is the ride you’re planning going to exclude anyone, and on and on…..
How you respond when faced with this line says a lot about what type of bicyclist you are.

This issue is only compounded when riding with new people or people that were invited by others. Now normally, when I ride with my friends we enjoy seeing each other suffer and purposely try to see how close to cardiac arrest we can force the other person.

But, when there are new people, or people you don’t know, you’re “supposed” to feel bad when they crash or collapse in an oxygen deprived heap on the side of the road or trail. As a matter of fact, I’ve been told it’s actually rude to laugh hysterically when someone new biffs it, no matter how entertaining it may have been.

So, the question becomes,
A) Do you just close ranks and not ride with anyone but your regular group….or,
B) Do you open up the rides to everyone that wants to join and just suck it up when you have to go back to see if the last person is still coming or has actually gone off a cliff?
a) And, if they have gone off a cliff, are you a strong enough person to hold back your laughter and at least pretend you’re concerned long enough to make sure they’re ok….
If you answered “A”, chances are you own and ride a road bike and wear the full “kit”
If you answered “B” chances are you’re a mountain biker
If you answered “B” but are still struggling with a) ….well, we’re not so different.

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