It never surprises me when a newcomer shows up on Tuesday night to ride with us and we fit them to a group of cyclists whose pace they’ll be able to handle comfortably… invariably, if they ride with we B Groupers, the new person will mention how wonderful a group we have to be that fast and to ride so well together. For me, it’s just an everyday thing. It’s our group. For others, who aren’t as fortunate to have a great group to cycle with, what we have is special. It took a few people bringing it up after a ride before I finally began to see our club for the special treat it is. That changed me.
Being a member of our cycling club’s board, I take it upon myself to welcome new people and try to help them feel at home (or at least as comfortable as possible). This doesn’t fit my personality, I’m more a quiet type (I’m loud on the blog, quieter in person, but I’m working on that), but it’s for the good of the club and ride that new people want to come back to ride again, so I do my part.
Then, for new riders, I’ll ride next to them in the pace-line and explain how we communicate and the proper etiquette for taking a turn at the front, how to flick off the front when you’re done, the whole ball of wax. It takes a little extra work (trying to talk at 28-mph can be a challenge), but I’m usually paid off with shorter turns up front. This is a mixture of kindness and self-preservation. If a new cyclist knows how to navigate the group, it makes our ride all the more safe.
The important thing in cycling is the ride.
Be a force for good. For cycling. And, for the love of God, remember this line: “Hey, no politics on bike rides”.
Oh, I almost forgot! We’re all in this together, in these trying, difficult times, blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc.