You know how it is. You roll up to meet the group. This guy said he’d be there, but isn’t. That woman who rides with the crew sometimes is there, and she’s ready to go, because she’s always ready to go. The one who always has to run back into the shop/cafe/woods to pee one last time is running. And then it happens. Someone arrives who you didn’t expect to see. A hammer.
“Welllllllllll, shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttt,” I think to myself. Everything just changed. Now we’re going full tilt. I’ll hang on. I’ll take short turns. I’ll go home shattered.
And ever was it so. This stuff is good for me. I try not to sandbag it, to talk down my fitness at the beginning, before I demonstrate how unfit I am on the road. Sometimes you need to suffer, and it’s probably better if you don’t know in advance, right? It makes you better, more resilient.
I am also ok, off the back. My ego doesn’t demand I turn myself into a pretzel to prove my worth on the bike. As much as I hate the surprise hammer, I recognize that I am my own cyclist. I can use the hammer, but I don’t have to be the nail.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what do you do when the ride turns into something you didn’t expect? Sometimes it’s faster. Sometimes it’s longer. Sometimes it’s just less organized than you like. What do you do? How do you manage it?