I like my hybrid bike, my cycling jersey and the gloves. I love the wind in my face and the hours I get to spend just pedaling and not thinking of home chores. However, when it comes to riding with other people, I get shy around groups of people, but am I the only one? I am trying to re-work my attitude toward the group events, since the Venus De Miles 2014 Illinois is just around the corner. I have a few months to get ready, and if you are thinking of joining this or similar great event, let’s talk about it.
Other cyclists look so cool. Will I fit in?
We all have a weakness and some cyclists have one for the fastest looking bike or apparel. I know plenty of people who started riding wearing regular workout clothes and a second-hand bike. You will advance at your own pace and remember we are all united by our love of cycling.
Why do I need group rides anyway?
It’s true that showing up at your first group ride can give anyone a case of the jitters, although I can assure you that it’ll be well worth it! Even you happen to start the ride alone, you can make friends along the way. You will find that you have more than one thing in common with a person next to you. Besides that, the encouragement and motivation of the group events is unbelievable.
- Unbeatable camaraderie: There’s nothing better than huffing and puffing up a climb together, and encouraging one another along the way.
- Social Prowess: Expand your social network by joining a cruiser ride, or similar Club Ride. Most Clubs have rides that are open to the public where you can try out the Club to see if it’s the right fit, and, they also have social events – cocktail hours, and other mixers, both on and off the bike.
- Mystery: I plan cycling events for a living, so truthfully, sometimes I just want to show up and ride – not worrying about where to go or key logistics pieces along the way. Club Rides often offer written route cues, and they typically always have a lead that is in the front of the pack, and a sweep (someone at the end of the group), so you are never left behind. Speaking of, making sure that the Club Ride you choose is a no drop ride, meaning you all take off together and come back together.
- Resources: Most Clubs offer Clinics, discounts to bike shops, apparel, and other perks.
- Trips: Before you know it, you’ll be riding events in other cities and states with your Club Members!
- Gumption: Riding with others pushes you outside of your comfort zone, enhancing your skills, and therefore becoming more confident rider.
- Goals: Events are a great exercise in goal setting, and riding socially. If you are riding an event solo, I encourage you to strike up a conversation with fellow cyclists – comment on their clothing, and ask them how they got started and why they are participating in the event.
And go check out Venus De Miles – this ride is amazing and it benefits a great cause (Don’t forget to use Way2GoodLife (case sensitive) for a discount.