I rode three weekdays this week, on rides of about 24, 26, and 29 miles. During those midday rides, I was passed by a total of two other cyclists. I passed two or three dozen, I suppose, and certainly saw a number of riders going the other way. I might be led to conclude that I am about the fastest guy on the trail. Except I know I’m not.
it’s all about who’s on the trail when. On midweek, midday rides, I see a certain number of recreational riders of all ages, just a couple of family groups, and a lot of out-of-shape people noodling along. Of this last group I say good for them! Some day a number of them will be in shape and burning up the trail. The group I do not see is young adult males who would now be burning up the trail, in good shape, on expensive bikes. Most of them are working daytimes. When I ride in the late afternoon they’re all over the place. I get passed all the time. The best I can do is to think “You’ll be lucky if you’re still riding a bike at my age!” as they whiz past.
Actually, there’s a lot of camaraderie among those who ride “seriously.” A word or two at a stop light, wishes for a good ride, praise for a nice bike, are all heard. Often on the trail the passing rider comments on what a perfect day it is, wishes you safe travels, or the like. I don’t see much evidence of rudeness–though there’s a bit of snobbery sometimes–among people who are on the trail to ride hard, all the time, loving just being on the bike. We “serious riders” all have that basic urge in common. However talented we are or aren’t, we know that it’s being out there, doing our thing, that counts.
But on weekdays there are only a few of us around, and I can nurture my delusions of being the king of the trail.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2010.