We rolled out Sunday morning, two tandems and two single bikes on a cool, almost cloudless morning. My wife and I on our tandem, Diane and Jeff on Diane’s (they aren’t a couple, they just ride together… and they’re strong), Mike and Chuck. We started out easy and built pace over several miles and Greg met us on the road. The pace was fairly subdued throughout, though there were times I was working pretty hard – too hard to hold a conversation beyond a few words, but it was fun.
We stopped at the Tuesday night church parking lot to use the club’s porta-john but it was a little too early for my snack so after everyone was relieved we rolled out again.
After the break and a couple of miles to work back into it, my wife and I found our rhythm. Later than usual, but we hit our stride nonetheless. Greg split off to head home in Durand and we took it a little easier heading home. We were sitting on an 18.5-mph average and the goal had been 17-18 (this adjusts according to who shows up, or it’s supposed to) so the worries about pace and keeping up went out the window.
And that is precisely when Jeff said, heading up a little 2%’er, “It’s not the roads you ride, it’s the friends you ride them with.”
And that sums up, in one sweet little sentence, why I enjoy cycling so much – love it, really.
We made plans for October on that ride, for Chuck’s birthday ride up in Interlochen. We’ll head up there for the end of the week and spend a couple of days riding near the shore of Lake Michigan. We’ve ridden throughout much of the pandemic with friends (after the fear calmed down to a dull roar), but the road trips have been cut to a bare minimum. The pandemic was the very illustration of Jeff’s simple observation, though. We had a blast this year. It really didn’t matter the routes or roads we rode on. It was the friends we rode them with.