So tonight our usual group had other plans — a couple were riding the Eastern Sierra, others were watching the Golden State Warriors trounce the Cleveland Cavaliers (go Dubs!), so a motley group showed up at the shop. Right away there were two groups: Those who are beginners and those able to hold a wheel at 25 mph.
We rode to the shop, and the ride started nearly 20 min. late. The shop manager decided early on to take two newbies on a slower, shorter route. The rest of us were kind of on our own; our erstwhile leader was dropped early on.
So Chris ended up pulling both the two riders that the shop mgr. was to pull. One of them is eager to learn tips and tricks to ride more efficiently and faster; the other, who has been riding for a year now and hasn’t changed any of her habits, thus she’s not much better of a rider than she was when she started.
We ride occasionally with another wine/horse/bike person, who has done some very challenging rides in the past but lately has lost bike fitness and doesn’t seem to care. When we ride with her (and usually another mutual horse/bike/wine friend) we know that we’re going to drop her, go back or wait for her, and thus she dictates the ride. She has no desire to improve her cycling.
We both find this aspect of these two people very frustrating. We love sharing our passion with others, whether that translates into helping someone over a hill, or offering a pull into a headwind, or being a domestique in a bike race. As long as that person is open to the coaching, we’re happy to help.
OTOH, those who expect us (and others) to pull them around a ride, who expect us to wait for them, and refuse any and all advice, despite their wanting it, make me want to smack my head. What’s the point? Why go out and ride every ride the same way? If one doesn’t change every ride one will never adapt to different conditions.
So after tonight, after C spent so much time hauling a willing learner & a non-willing learner over 20 miles, and red-lining to catch me, and some discussion between us on the ride home, we’ve decided we’re not going to be bike patsies anymore. Those people who don’t want to improve — you’re on your own. Those that do want to improve, and demonstrate that improvement — you’re welcome to sit on our wheels until you decide to pass us and pull us. Thanks! We appreciate that very much.
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