Today’s world is a busy one. Work, school, kids, bills and more, battle for our time on a daily basis. With all of that on your plate, getting out for a bike ride can be a tough task; especially when it’s not on your terms. Usually we leave our house with nothing more than the sounds of summer and a breeze to keep us company. Sure, this is fun, but are we missing part of the whole experience? Things like community, camaraderie and friendship.
Group rides have been part of the mountain bike and cycling culture for a long time. Friends, acquaintances and complete strangers have been meeting in parking lots and at trail heads to share in the experience that is cycling. They do it week in and week out, year after year, but why?
Admittedly, to participate in a group ride you have to fit into somebody else’s schedule. And you may not get to ride exactly where you want. Although these seem like insurmountable obstacles that may negatively affect your ride, they really aren’t. Instead, these are merely small prices to pay for a much richer experience.
Bringing Road Bikers & Mountain Bikers Together
Group rides, be it mountain or road biking, serve a higher purpose. They are one of the building blocks to creating a strong cycling community. Not only do group bike rides bring beginners and experts together to share their passion for cycling, but they also connect doctors, lawyers, policy makers, moms, dads and everyone in between. Remember how great it felt the first time you nailed a switchback corner or killed it on a monster climb? Wouldn’t it have been awesome to share that joy and excitement with real humans, instead of simply posting it on Facebook?
Another benefit is that group bike rides create an informal forum for people to share cycling related ideas and information. Want to know more about the trails and riding in an area? Or lobby to see a change in your trail system? Are you craving more community support for cycling in your town? Group rides are a great place to start since the people involved really care about cycling. They know the best trails and road rides, and which ones are open or under construction. And since they’re committed to the sport, they’ll be the first to want to help make changes and see cycling grow in your community.
Learn New Cycling Skills
Need some helpful advice? Look no further than your local group ride. Nobody wants to see another person suffer or struggle, especially when their ride depends on it. Riding with a group is a great way to build your skills with a mix of people who are below, at and above your ability level. Before long you will notice yourself passing on skills you’ve mastered to someone else in the group. This is free, open source education at its finest. Just ride, watch, listen and take away from it what you want.
Looking to meet like-minded individuals to ride or hang out with? You could always hit the bars and roll the dice. Or, you could join a group of folks who participate in a sport that you love. Group rides are a great way to not only meet new cycling partners, but also to make new friends with people who are motivated, fitness conscious and share a common interest.
This summer, remember that cycling is about more than just turning pedals and ticking off miles. Make an effort to attend a couple of group rides in your area and help create the future of your cycling community. You never know, you may learn something new or meet some new friends. Worst case scenario, you get to go on a great bike ride and that’s better than doing a lot of other things in this world!
For more information on Jans weekly group rides check out our FREE Team Sugar Tuesday Night Rides (ladies only) and FREE Thursday Night Group MTB Rides (coed).
Communications, Events and Social Media Director