Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Solitary Cyclist

Sunday morning and no one to ride with. Well, that is not quite true as I missed a group ride by 20 minutes or so...still pajama time for me, but the local loop they were riding was the same old same old and is hard to get all excited about that again.

I had a ride set up, a nice epic one a fair distance away, with Ed the Tall but he had daddy duty this weekend. Buddy Steve is coaching La Crosse, KT and his cronies are off to the Wildflower event, no one else could say yes to my e-mail invite so here I am, pondering and eating breakfast cereal and that is never a good thing...the pondering, I mean. Frosted Flakes are killer.

Often I read on forums where the question is posed, "how often do you ride alone?" and from what I read in the replies, it is quite common for most serious cyclists, serious meaning there is the need for a fair amount of miles and or hours on the bike to keep themselves where they want to be fitness wise OR to satisfy the need to 'get out there' in a meaningful way. I know I ride alone quite a bit, sometimes because my schedule does not allow any other way, sometimes on purpose, etc, but I have to admit a certain amount of jealousy felt when I see a person that seems to have a core group of regulars to ride with. It is a delicate balancing act, finding and sifting out a group that has the same ride interests, schedules, relative fitness and abilities, etc. Not easy.

For instance, there is one local group of very nice fellows that ride at such a social pace, I get bored and barely get my heart rate over the Barcalounger mark. Another group seems to be very happy to ride the same trails every week at a very early hour. The pace is fine, but getting them out of the valley to ride something new is like pulling teeth. Sigh...all good guys, but not that soul mates as it were, when it comes to riding new and long stuff.

It is not all that bleak as I actually enjoy riding alone, but lately I have craved company. Not sure why. Age maybe. I used to think nothing of driving an hour to ride a multi hour ride all by myself and then return, but I seem to do that less and less now. Good or bad? Unsure. Safer, that is for sure, but it does tend to dampen the chances for solitary discoveries and adventure moments.

Well, I am heading out with the son of mine to do a quick ride, just he and I and maybe another guy and his kids, then I am on my own for the rest of the pedaling day. I am not sure what I will end up with, but it seems certain that whatever it is, I will be alone and I suppose that will have to do.

Such is the fate of the solitary cyclist.

1 comment:

Fonk said...

I'm a solitary cyclist mostly by default. The group rides usually start too early for me (why would I want to get up even earlier on the weekends than I do for my job during the week??), and with friends it's usually infrequent simpley due to our varying family schedules.