The good and the bad

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Ten ways you make the group ride bad:

  1. You refuse to share the work. You sit in the entire ride, or most of the entire ride. The one or two time you go to the front, your efforts are feeble, and they end quickly. You are so afraid of getting dropped, getting tired, or feeling pain that you leave all of the work to others.
  2. You show up late. The ride leaves at 8:00, but you know it never really leaves until 8:10 at the earliest, so you fiddle with your saddle bag or your Garmin or decide that now is a great time to replace your cleats. Then you text the gang that you’re running ten minutes late.
  3. You don’t have a spare tube or a spare CO2 cartridge or a pump. Someone else will have one if you need it.
  4. You don’t say hello to newcomers unless they look fitter and faster than you. You especially don’t say hello to “dorks” because, you know, we’re still in junior high.
  5. You still haven’t learned how to ride in a straight line.
  6. You constantly drop your head to read your wattage, cadence, mph, kilojoules, distance, average speed, normalized power, heart rate, leaderboard status, etc.
  7. You overlap wheels then swerve when the guy in front moves over on you. For bonus points, you curse at him.
  8. You carefully avoid holes and detritus that the riders in front of you point out, but you don’t bother to point them out to the people behind you.
  9. You pass people at high speeds on the inside of tight downhill turns just because it’s “fun.”
  10. You don’t stop when people crash or flat.

Ten ways you make the group ride fun:

  1. You make sure your tires are in good shape, you carry a spare, a way to air it up, and something extra for the person who doesn’t.
  2. You drop off the back — miss the whole ride, even — when someone’s in trouble or needs help.
  3. You ride at the front.
  4. You greet newcomers and try to remember their names.
  5. You call shit out.
  6. You chastise people in private, not in front of the whole group.
  7. You show up on time.
  8. You understand the difference between group rides and training.
  9. You give the strugglers and stragglers a push from time to time.
  10. You put the group’s safety before your ego.

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