We gained a new guy a couple of weeks ago on Tuesday night. I’ve never seen someone show up for their first group ride and hang with us all the way to the sprint finish 28 miles (and change) later. He did it the first night, with no wind, but we dropped him last Tuesday on the home stretch after a few miles at 30-35-mph (48-56 km/h).
I stopped by his house whilst riding over to pick up my buddy, Chuck for our evening ride and Jayson was grinning from ear to ear when I pulled up. He’s a hardcore mountain biker who just made the jump to road cycling. We spoke at length about the differences (I started on a mountain bike as well) between mountain biking and road cycling and we both came down on the same line with road cycling: the speed is awesome.
I let him go on about how much fun it is riding in a group, to be a part of that speed, rocketing down the road at 30+ mph with a bunch of other riders… if you’ve never participated, if you’ve got the lungs and legs, it’s exhilarating. And that’s putting it mildly.
I am increasingly grateful for living where I do. We have cyclists from all over the country who wind up in our group that can’t say enough about how special it is to ride with us. We had another fella just Tuesday who’d ridden in groups all over the country say that he’d never run into a group of cyclists so welcoming and fun to ride with (at least not when you’re talking about the upper echelons of speed and fitness – my wife and I rode with a fantastic C group down in Georgia). Most come off aloof and stuck up, where we welcome most new folks as if they’re long lost friends.
Thus, the affable in Affable Hammers. We’re not perfect, of course, but we do our best.
Jayson and I concluded our conversation and I rolled out to pick Chuck up, grateful just to be me. My wife and I sometimes kick around the possibility of moving, just for a change of scenery. I’ve gotta tell you, though, leaving what we have wouldn’t be easy. You don’t see too many people writing or talking about how great it is to be a cyclist where they’re living.
Thinking seriously about it, I really don’t know if the grass can get any greener somewhere else, and that’s a good feeling to have. Come to think of it, I just might have to go the the grocery store and pick up some noodle salad tonight.