Saturday, July 1, 2017

Thanks to all the group ride leaders and helpers who ride to help the rest of us!

I had an interesting experience today that led me to want to give a big shout out and thanks to the many cycling coaches, ride leaders, etc., who help us become better cyclists by sacrificing their ride for ours.

I was on a group ride today that was quite slow. The ride was led by some very strong riders, but it’s a no drop group ride that is intended to be for riders of all levels, and so very supportive no matter your ability. There were a few riders that needed a slower pace than I would have liked. So we went slower than that ride normally would have. I had to soft pedal up the many hills on the route. I’ve never had that experience before. I am not a super fast rider. I ride in an intermediate group with my club, and I am in the middle of that group: there are some riders who are slower, and others who are faster than me. Same thing on the few organized rides I’ve done: I am pretty much very much in the middle of rec women riders in terms of strength and speed.

But today I went slower than I would have naturally; it was the pace that those riders needed, and that was fine. (I won’t name the club, because I don’t want the riders in question feeling at all bad about this. They shouldn’t. At all. We’re all there at some point, which is my real point.) But during the ride I was thinking about the stronger club riders who lead these weekend rides, and realized they must feel like I was feeling every weekend, just even more so. Yet they come out and ride with those of us who are not as strong and fast, because they love the sport and want to help others get into it. They spend a few hours every weekend morning with riders like me, going slower than they would like, so I can have a good ride. I owe people like that a lot. And it felt kind of good to be someone who got to slow down for someone else today, because it means that I am getting stronger and faster.

If you are a group leader or helper out there somewhere – thanks for all you do for the rest of us!


  1. I spent some time coaching a new swimmer, and it was brilliant! Having to explain concepts, and demonstrate them cleanly helped me do them better myself. Once I was chatting with the buddy of a buddy while working up a big hill on Road to Nepal. I was in my granny gear and working. He was riding with me, chatting, talking about some cycling tips, when I noticed he was pedaling really slowly. Why? He was in the big ring and part way down the cassette. I asked about that and he said it was his day to ride slowly up hills as a strength thing, and riding with me was perfect for that. So yes, I'm grateful when super-duper athletes support slower people, but it gives them a chance to work on some aspects of their game too, so it isn't all one sided.

    1. That's a really interesting perspective Keith, thanks! I hadn't thought of the possible training benefits before.


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