Monday, September 21, 2009

Group riding, why do it?? Chicks start a new buddy system

I was reading some email posts from another club, the ride leader was wondering why some folks show up for group rides and then proceed to ride way ahead and sometimes even take off to the point that the rest of the riders never see them again.

Indeed, bike clubs and group rides exist for one purpose and that is to ride with others. Group rides provide some company on the road and let you ride with some degree of safety since there are others with you on the ride. Group rides are NOT for everyone. Some folks just want to ride alone and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

But no matter whose bike club email posts you are reading, they all sound the same. No one rides the posted speeds, people always take off the front of the ride, either raising the group speed or just hijacking the ride completely.

What is the problem?? why show up for a group ride if you have no intention of actually doing the posted speed and if you have no interest in keeping the group together??

Some ride leaders do not really care if they lose folks or if folks take off and I have to ask, then why run a group ride? If as a group ride leader you do not really care if you lose folks then you do a disservice to those that show up.

Keeping a group together is just part of the ride. If this does not interest you, then bike alone. Cuz if you show up for a group ride and then take off, it says to the group that you have no interest in them.

This season Biker Chicks has been known for helping new riders and inspiring old riders. This season several riders have taken off in their skills and speeds. But all started in the Biker Chicks. So this says a lot about our group of riders. Julia and Melinda and Lexi all did the Marsh Creek triathlon. All three rode with the chicks, Cass did her first century this past weekend. Libby and Ellen did a century last fall. Eileen and hubby have done the Ride across Iowa for many years.

But Chicks are a unique group in that we accept all riders and are willing to help riders achieve great things. We are unlike the other groups in most clubs. We do not race each other, we teach skills to newbies, and we have fun.

So why the group rides create so many problems is a mystery to me. My own club has had its share of issues and anywhere on the Net you can read about some club ride gone awry.

In light of all of this, Biker Chicks is starting a new policy. When our group is more than 8 riders, we will pair up and each pair will keep track of each other. That way no one gets lost and the temptation to take off in the front will be lessened.

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