Lately, I’ve been trying to find the fun in cycling again. My injuries from my Tour de Zona fall put me into a 7-week off-the-bike situation and it caused me to think about where cycling fits into my life. Again.
There was a time, back in the mid 20-teens, that I would take in the local bicycle rallies:
- Tour de Italia
- Head for the Hills (Cedar Hill)
- Tour de Paris
- Rodeo Road Rally (Mesquite)
- Bluebonnet (Ferris or Lancaster)
They were fun. As a solo on an old, heavy bike, it got me moving and gave me a goal ride, not unlike the goal races we used as motivation in the old Couch-to-5K program when I was a runner. Then, when I was an active member of a larger bike club, it was a team thing. Matching jerseys, car pooling and beers in a group at the end.
Then, things changed.
At first it was about speed and skill. I wasn’t able to ride fast enough to be a part of the pace line crowd. Consequently, from the start I was left behind and finished after the pack. They were finishing their first beer when I was just finishing the ride. I fell off the pace and they rode by me.
Then there is the interpersonal, relationship aspect of this disenchantment. I had a serious dating relationship with another member (FYI, avoid this scenario if you can at all costs). As long as I was connected with her, I was ok with the leaders of the group. When she broke it off, it became really uncomfortable to be in the group. So I backed away from the group to give her space and, really, the group itself.
Truth is, that is a big part of any group dynamic–interpersonal relationships. Sometimes romance (or whatever) doesn’t mix with the activity. And not everyone gets along with all members of the whole group.
Yet, I really proved at Tour de Zona that I could make friends from total strangers. A bunch of fresh faces and stories. Truth is, I could probably do that at any of the local rides.
It is a lesson in group dynamics and really what happens in any club or group gathering. If you are “in,” you’re “in.” And if you are “out,” well, you are “out.” As with any relationship, mine with that club had a beginning, a middle, and an end. And that’s ok.
I’ll be looking for new rides and locations as I heal from my current injury. Sometimes the spirit has to heal alongside the body.
After all, this is supposed to be fun.