The benefits of cycling with someone else

 

Cycling is for children too, of all ages.

Over the years I have been inclined to cycle on my own, rather than with a cycling partner or even joining a club.  That’s not to say I’m a complete loner on the road as my friend Wallie and I have enjoyed some fantastic rides together in the Cotswold Hills, Forest of Dean and Wales.  Recently our friend Jeremy asked a few fellow Christians if we’d like to have a ride with each other sometime.  I didn’t take the bait initially but now we’ve had two consecutive Sunday morning rides with each other.  Now I find myself challenged: I enjoyed it although I wasn’t sure I would.  So why did it work, what are the advantages of having a cycling partner, someone else to ride with?  Here goes:

  • You can enjoy time with friends, their company, encouragement, their conversation
  • I don’t notice the hills so much or, as with this morning’s ride, strong head winds
  • The miles pass by faster, you ride faster (I’m not the only one who says that!)
  • You can learn things about cycling from other people – how do you fix this or that, are those Ultegra gears any good, are those gloves warm?
  • You’ll probably try new routes
  • Someone to help with mechanical problems, or if you get completely lost you can figure it out together
  • Motivation to get out of bed and go for that pre-arranged ride
  • Share experiences, the laughs, the memories

Last Sunday we set off at 7.00am, just as it was getting light and for an hour or so.  It was a cold, sunny crisp morning.  We decided to do it again today and I’d checked the weather forecast – cool and dry.  Somehow I forgot to mention the strong winds, which Jeremy naturally mentioned!

Coming back I got a puncture, grrrrr.  Perhaps I shouldn’t moan too much as we were just a mile or so from our respective homes.  My first response was simply to pump up the tyre to see if it would stay firm enough to get-me-home.  As I was pumping I suspected I was losing quite a bit of air but we did try to make a dash for it.  Alas that didn’t work as it went flat in 100 yards!  We decided that changing the tube was the best thing.  A simple enough task you might think except my fingers were so cold I couldn’t undo the locking collar on the valve – naturally Jeremy could having his soooper-doooper sailing gloves keeping his fingers warmer than mine.

So here I am feeling a little challenged.  I’m liking the idea and seeing some of the advantages and benefits of cycling with someone else.  I look back at the C2C ride we did with some friends earlier this year: that gives us all such good memories.  Perhaps my biggest fear is being paired with someone who will shoot off into the distance leaving me flagging behind.  Thankfully this has not been the case at all, so here’s to some more cycle rides with friends….

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5 Responses to The benefits of cycling with someone else

  1. GrahamL says:

    I like to ride on my own for most of the time as I can do what I want to do when I want to do it and at my pace. However, I had one of the best rides last weekend when my married daughter Sarah had her ‘time away’ from my grandchildren. Hubby was in charge of the kids. I rode my road bike for the first time in a while instead of the MTB and what a difference it makes. Lighter bike, easier to pedal, more speed. We have a route we like to visit regularly. It’s a route I’ve done for a charity cycle ride for the last two years. This year Sarah came with me and we both completed it. As an aside what made it a little bit special was as we finished the route members of the public stopped at the side of the route and clapped as we rode past to the finish. It was extra special as my daughter had now completed her first charity bike ride.

    So she wanted to visit the route again just for a leisure ride. With all the bad weather we have had of late we started with a very grey sky overhead and it was a bit cool also. But we were dressed for the elements so off we went. As we cycled the sun made an appearance and we were able to have a chit chat which always passes the time of day. Its a reasonably flat ride with plenty of country lanes incorporating a cycle trail. We stopped in a picturesque little village devoid of shops except for a independently run little supermarket. The owners had diversified and now provided provided hot and cold sandwiches. We ate a hot sandwich each and had a hot brew as we stood outside the shop in the cool fresh air. I can honestly say a Sunday roast would not have tasted any better. Bliss. With the hot food and obligatory piece of cake hitting the spot off we went suitably refreshed. The ride was over before we knew it. I said to Sarah that it was one of the best rides in a long time. It may have been the company I was with, ride or food, or all !! We did have a bit of a disaster on the way home when my road bike on the roof carrier had a disagreement with a concrete lintel and was sadly written off. The good news is that I am insured and a new bike more suited for my cycling needs is now on its way. So still a ‘good’ day.

  2. doug says:

    Graham,
    That sounds like a very special ride with your daughter, all good memories! Having said that, I don’t suppose you’ll forget writing your bike off for a long time and good to know a new bike is on its way – another road bike?

    Doug.

    • GrahamL says:

      Hi Doug

      I liked my Specialized Secteur road bike as it had a more relaxed ride. My road routes usually take in a cycle trail often muddy and bumpy. Since it’s accident I decided to look at what I used & needed most in new bike. Relaxed ride, plenty of gears, drop handlebars, a bike that can take a few lumps and bumps in its stride, permanently attached mudguards . It had to be a touring bike !! A Ridgeback Panorama to be exact. Read the reviews and looked at the specification of touring bikes and this seemed to be the winner. Delivery of said bike is imminent. My car was damaged by the bike carrier in the accident so that should be ready this week along with delivery of my new bike. Time to start all over again, hopefully accident free. I need to get that first journey with bike back on the roof of my car and a good cycle ride incident free and under my belt.

      • doug says:

        Hi Graham

        I know of the Ridgeback Panorama and it would certainly be on my short list if I were buying a proper touring bike. I love their adverts too – those images of the bike on a long road stretching into the distance.

        From memory it’s very well fully equipped and I’ll be pleased to know how you get on with it!

        Regards

        Doug

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