Thursday, October 11, 2012

Truly Enjoying The Ride.

I truly enjoy riding my bike.  I really do.  It is therapy, freedom, peace and a spiritual experience all rolled into one.  I make time for it.  I don’t want to be bothered while doing it.  It is truly, “Me time.” 

However, it is sad to see how many people cannot truly enjoy the ride.  I can understand the responsibilities of family, work, etc., however, if everything does not have a time and a place, mitigating circumstances will soon come to dominate your schedule.  Riding is supposed to cure all of this.  Exercising the mind and body cannot take place if one or the other is elsewhere.  I call these distractions Ride Killers, and I have ridden with enough people to begin to notice some discernable patterns.

Ride Killers I have come to notice from the passing scene:

  • Cell phones (nothing kills a ride faster)
  • Demanding spouse
  • Whiney kids (see cell phones)
  • Pushover parents (see whiny kids)
  • Trying to cram in a ride
  • The Ride Nazi
  • The Bomb Dropper
  • The Wanna-be Racer

All of the categories fall more in less in line with the curse of modern technology – The Cell Phone.  Now, instead of being free to liberate mind and body and be one-with-the-bike, spouses, children, family and friends are free to harass the rider at will - All day, everyday.  In full-disclosure, I carry a phone when I ride.  However, it is purely for emergencies, and people know not to call me while I am riding unless it is extremely important, not a “Hey, whatcha’ doin’?” call.  And, it gets worse.  I have ridden with people that pull over simply to text something!  I avoid these kinds of riders.

On the subject of cramming in rides, some folks will do this while trying to get as big a group together as possible to join in on this special kind of misery.  This is what I call the “Afraid to Eat Alone” syndrome.  Yes, a lot of people are afraid to ride alone, so they con as many victims as they can for a ride, even if it is for thirty minutes.  Yes, it happens, and I now avoid these kinds of riders, too.

The Ride Nazi – This one is pretty self-explanatory, however, for the uninitiated, here is the low-down on this pest.  This person is the one whom expects everyone else on the group ride to go where they say, when they say, or they will whine none-stop until they get their way.  Comply or it is “No ride for you!”  Avoid this person like the plague.

The Bomb Dropper is a subset of the Ride Crammer and Ride Nazi, yet it is almost a separate and unique class unto itself.  This is the person (or persons) which sooner or later on the ride announce they have to be back by a certain time.  That can be understandable.  However, the announcement never comes before the ride but during it.  The result is a shortened ride, or an increased pace (thus spitting slower riders out the back like chum) or both.  You learn to avoid the Bomb Dropper only after having a few dropped on yourself.

The Wanna-be Racer.  Ahhh, we have all run into this person in our cycling travels.  They give themselves away with way too tight riding kits, are overly-competitive, rude, unhelpful, and see the group ride as the only opportunity in their lives to feel like a Somebody.  They usually ride a custom framed bike.

I made an effort to un-complicate my life and make time for riding.  Yes, this is my choice, and I believe it is a choice we can all take a sincere look at.  See, modern technology was supposed to make tasks more efficient, thus creating more “Free Time.”  However, all it seems to have done is create more time to fill up with additional activities to ever-more complicate our lives.

If we can free the mind, we can free the body.

For riding, of course.

No comments:

Post a Comment