The Brotherhood of Self-Propulsion

A brand new cyclist told me this weekend that he noticed something when he bought his new ride a couple of days ago. He said that there is something in bike shops . . . like kind of a . . . camaraderie of sorts. I agreed immediately. There actually is a bond among those who like to self propel on two wheels. What is it though? What makes us tick . . . besides the rear hub?

When someone shares something deeply physical, mental, and emotional with others, there is a unifying. I almost place it in the same category as my brothers in arms, when I was in the military. Your body is broken with others who understand what you are going through. No explanation can be given to someone who doesn’t do what you do. You rejoice together when something is accomplished. And you wish only the best for those who are just entering the brotherhood. You have their back when they are struggling. You encourage when giving up is such a viable option. You need something? Here have mine.

The previously mentioned new cyclist rode in a group with me and my son this weekend. As one can easily determine by reading my blog, I thoroughly enjoy helping new riders. I feel that is the responsibility of others riders to help others along. I can attest that is very easy to get caught up in yourself and your accomplishments and not want to sacrifice a ride by helping the guy who is struggling in the back. There is also, although I haven’t personally had the feeling, an urge to ride hard and drop the new guy . . . I can only guess to either make you feel like you are an accomplished rider or the let the new guy know that your equipment and skill far exceeds his. In either case, you’re being a jerk. I have even heard the argument that being dropped is all part of it, and I agree; but not when it’s a person’s first or second time out or if the new guy was told in advance that the ride is a “drop ride” and he wants to give it a go anyway.

In short, there is always someone riding the roads on a bike that is better than you are. If you enjoy dropping the less experienced, try showing up with a wad of Cat 1 or Cat 2 riders and get a taste of how it feels. You (nor I) are all that. Everybody has to start somewhere. Encourage others. Don’t blast them out of the saddle, never to see them even look at a bike again. Yes, what the new guy said this past weekend was true. We are a brotherhood. We have enough enemies in the public, without trying to be one to each other.



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