Not THAT kind of benefits, I’m happily married. The kind of benefits you get from jumping on a bike with a group of people you don’t (or hardly) know and making instant friends.
This week I had the pleasure of doing a recovery ride with a few “recreational” riders. Recovery rides always seem like a great idea, but never really seem to happen. They always start slow and either take off, or go much farther than anticipated. Let’s face it, it’s fun to go fast. But this week, I brought the 69er to an organized ride that I normally would never do. 2 guys on mountain bikes (one was a Diamond Back from Target that was too small) and 1 woman on a woman’s Trek commuter that had to be one of the first one’s off the assembly line in 1976.
This ride was not about skill or ability, it was about the ride – and man did I have a good time. Turns out the woman on the commuter is a grandma, but also a college professor with a love for World music. We talked for half the ride about bands, musicians and music that no one else would even care about (3/3 time Japanese music…).
One of the mountain bike guys, the one on the “too-small” was proud to show off his war wound from his latest trail ride. He was also pretty jacked to be doing his first WORS race (Alterra) in 2 weeks. I would have never guessed that – I thought he was kidding at first.
Point being, I did not think of these riders as “cyclists”, at least not the cyclists I stereotypically think of. But the truth was, they were cyclists in the truest sense of the term. They weren’t riding to train for something, or to commute, or lose weight or for any other reason than they just love to ride. They may not do it very often, or have nice bikes, or compete or any of that crap, but it didn’t matter. That day we were all the same.