This weekend, as part of my role as a Coeur Sports ambassador, I led a beginner friendly ride of an old triathlon course here in Maryland. While the ride was welcome to riders of all paces, my big goal was to make sure that slower riders felt like they belonged.
I know what it’s like to be afraid of group rides, worried that I won’t be able to keep up. So I made a point to note to everyone that this ride was open to all paces. I would be riding in the back, and if someone wanted to take a break mid-ride, that was fine by me. This was all about getting out there and riding.
I had a small group of people show up, but I couldn’t have been happier with the participants. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming to each other, and I heard more than once that people were so glad that the ride was zero pressure. Sure, I had people say “Oh, I will be slow, don’t worry if you have to leave me behind.” And you know what? They were WRONG. They weren’t slow. In fact, I was expecting to have an easy ride and came into the morning with slightly dead legs. This was not the easy ride that my legs wanted.
I’m absolutely guilty of underestimating myself and my abilities. I don’t think I’m “good enough” for a lot of group rides. But like some of the folks who came out for my ride, I need to take a hard look at what I can do and not psych myself out because I don’t think I’m good enough.
I had so much fun getting this group out and riding, and I plan to do at least one more ride later this summer. Most of these people were complete strangers who showed up to ride and I think we all had an awesome time. Thanks to everyone who came out!
If you’ve been thinking about putting together a group ride, do it! You never know who might be looking for a group to ride with. Put out a Facebook invite, tell people in your tri club, ask people to spread the word. I’m so glad I did.