Company

1 03 2011

My regular (by regular I mean, distinctly irregular) Tuesday morning ride was usurped this morning by a ride with a new riding buddy. David is my wifes dancing teacher(and ex professional, world class dancer) and is as keen as I am to get into triathlons. Being a dance teacher (ballroom, latin etc.) David is extremely fit and I suspect will have little trouble completing a triathlon. For now however, he is a noob on the bike and as such is totally in awe of the riding powerhouse that I have become.

Now being that David is 4 years younger than me, a few inches taller and about a thousand kilos lighter, and considering every bit of exercise, gym session, or piece of gear that he buys is essentially a tax deduction, I suspect that I have, at best, three months before he powers away ahead of me. For now however, I am the sensei, the guru, the lead-out man. The first up the hill. The one pushing for a second lap when my partner is bugging out. And I am loving it.

Any ride with company is better than a solo ride, regardless of whether you’re at the front of the pack or the back. I must say though that being at the front is hard work. Keeping a steady pace is not something I’m particularly good at. I either ride hard to keep up with the group, or ride hard to get a best time. If I’m doing an easier solo ride, I usually don’t worry about fluctuations in speed, I ride as I see fit.. And so, I struggled to keep my pace down. Always looking back to check we’re still together, remembering to give directions when we’re side by side, making a conscious effort to go slow. Hills were the worst. Do I push hard on the hill, and get up fast, or do I wait back and go up at the speed of my companion? If I go hard, do I wait at the top, or circle back around and do the second half again? If I choose the latter, do I give him a gentle push or let him do it under his own steam? Is coming back down as bad as going ahead in the first place? Is it rubbing it in – I’m so much better than you?

On the flats, when someone is clearly putting in a bigger effort, is it rude to talk to them and make them engage in conversation when they’re puffing away (not that David was ever puffing). When I’m short of breath, the last thing I want is a conversation, but if you’re riding with someone who is new to riding, is it rude not to impart your wisdom/hard earned knowledge?

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One response

5 03 2011
Andrew(AJH)

Rides with company are good, but I wouldn’t agree always better. I still enjoy the quietness and independence of my solo adventures.

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