Join a Local Club
I am a sort of soul rider. A solo rider. A lone wolf, as it were. This fact is not truly by choice. I enjoy riding with others. In fact, sometimes I long for a voice other than the ones rattling around in my head. I have people I ride with but my work schedule is such that my free time to ride is in smack dab in the middle of the afternoon when 99.99% of the masses are still at work. Yes, I get up very early, dark early, and I am home from my place of employ when the sun is still high in the sky. In fact, I usually beat my kids home from school. But as I am sure you can imagine there are not a lot of people around to ride at 2:00 in the afternoon. The racer contingency has already been out – hopefully. Joe and Jane 9-to-5er are likely staring out of their office window wishing they were me. And I am kitting up and sliding out the door for a solo sojourn. Now don’t get me wrong. I love a good solo ride, too. No one shows up late. Or has to stop and pee every 10 minutes. There are no curfews other than my own. And there are only the rides I want to do. But, seriously, sometimes a little company is a blessing. So I joined a cycling club. Marin Velo Club to be exact.
“Marin Velo Club is a community of male and female cyclists of all ages. It was formed so that we could enjoy the health, fitness, and camaraderie associated with riding. We are riders of mixed experience – ranging from those just getting into the sport, to those who have ridden for years, through to those who have competed, or are interested in competing. Competition is not our focus, however – rather, the enjoyment of riding in a group, making friends and having fun! “ I stole that description straight from the website: http://www.marinveloclub.com/
So there I was riding along ALONE one Sunday morning just wishing that I had someone to talk to other than myself and this group of 20 or so riders overtook me at a stoplight. One of the gents asked where I was headed. I told him I was not sure and he suggested that I join them. I did, and the rest is history. The cool part, the best part of the whole trip, is that I now have expanded my circle of friends greatly all based solely on the fact that we share one passion – the bicycle. And it is through that passion that some of us have discovered that we share other passions and friendships have germinated and grown. We watch sports together. Share stories of family or work or other rides with one another. We drink beer together. The camaraderie this group of men and women has shared with me is delightfully awesome. I honestly have never been accepted into a group with such kindness in all my life; and without trying to sound like a schmuck, I have never really had a hard time fitting in, but this group is special. Thanks, y’all. Appreciate it. Really.
The benefits are many. Now I have one day a week where I get to ride with a good group of folks, something I look forward to. And there are emails all week long alerting the members of other rides that might fit a schedule. The ‘kudos’ on Strava. Sweet kit. And the sponsors, we have truly fantastic sponsors. There are parties, too. By joining a cycling club my whole two-wheeled universe grew exponentially. My social calendar expanded as well, not to mention my circle of friends. And, in my opinion, anything that can expand your passion, your fun and your group of friends cannot be a bad thing. The Marin Velo Club has certainly lived up to its mission. Maybe you have club near you that is similar? Maybe you are missing out? I was.