Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Time to Join...?

I posted this question before, but with a slightly different emphasis. Then, it had more to do with racing and joining a team, or race-oriented club. Now, it simply has to do with getting out in a group.

Kevin Unck Memorial Ride, 2011

You will notice a new list over on the right hand side of this blog - a list of local group rides. I have not yet figured out how best to define local, so I will start close to home and work my way out from there. Some of these you will find other places; SoCalCycling, for instance lists a number on its website, but they are more racing and training oriented. I am aiming for something a little more comprehensive, a list that will also include more socially-oriented rides as well. On a recent group ride, the question was put to me, how many local group rides are there? Other than to respond, "a lot", I couldn't give any kind of accurate answer. This list is a response. Living in a large metropolitan area, we are fortunate in that we have many options. We have shop rides, club and team rides, forum rides, and various other informal gatherings.

L'Etape du California, 2011

Once you have been riding for a while, you probably hop on your bike without a second thought. It's second nature. But, how did you reach that point? Can you remember when you first started? It can be intimidating, even to get out on your own. Even in so-called bike friendly locales, riding a bicycle on the road can be an intimidating proposition for first-time riders and novices alike. Whether the intimidation stems from sharing the road in such close proximity to so many automobiles (and being well aware of the damage they can inflict), or from a lack of understanding, or practical knowledge, concerning some aspect of the bicycle itself is irrelevant in this case. The fact that these concerns are enough to keep people from riding is what is important.

Moving Planet, 2011

By far the easiest way around this problem is perhaps the most simple solution of all - the group ride. I think that people will ride the streets of our cities and towns if they possess a certain level of comfort in doing so. This is where the group comes into play - many people who may be unwilling to try things by themselves, will jump at the opportunity as part of a group. This is a truth for many activities, not just bicycling. The group allows the individual rider to retain a measure of anonymity, while a the same time, providing a backup or safety net. The safety net can take the form of assistance with unexpected mechanicals, or the inevitable crash. Group rides, especially those oriented toward newer riders, are a great way to gain experience and confidence, and can serve as a stepping stone for an individuals development as a cyclist. A novice today can turn into a commuter and racer tomorrow, another rider hooked for life.

Claremont Tweed Ride, 2010

Anyway, back to the list - consider it a work in progress. I am not sure what the final product will look like. It may be a simple list of links over there along the right, or something more comprehensive - a stand-alone page seems most likely since that would allow me to organize rides by day, and include other basic and relevant information. Ride On.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Michael, thanks for putting our Butts on Bikes, IE "BOBie's" group on your local cycling group list.


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