Saturday, October 10, 2015

My Life Behind Bars: The Group Ride

Up before the sun
When I started cycling, a ride was simple. I'd get ready when I wanted to, leave when I wanted to and head toward the bicycle path to avoid as much traffic as possible. At the time I didn't go very far, had few friends who cycled and I was learning the ropes so being alone saved me from embarrassment. Fortunately, times have changed.

It's 6:00AM and I'm awake, feeding the dogs, getting some coffee and checking email. There are thoughts running through my head: I need 30 minutes to get to the location of the ride. It will take me double that to shower, apply sunscreen, apply chamois butter and suit up. I forgot to check the air pressure in my tires but I did it a few days ago and there is now no time. No more time for distractions. I can't be late.

Luckily when I arrive I have time to spare to check my tire pressure. There's a lot of banter and I am offered a donut. I eat my energy bar instead and stuff another one into my pocket. I stand around while other people check their air pressure, someone else fixes a cleat and another finishes their coffee.

It is funny that now I can spend as much time getting ready to ride as I actually spend doing it. Maybe cycling was a lot simpler when I first started but maybe this AIDS/Lifecycle community is becoming the real reason I ride my bike....for the shared donuts, the pointless chatter and the friendships I have forged along the way. These are things to truly be thankful for.

Route map failed so it's time to check our phone's GPS

Hydrate and selfies at Noah's Bagels