In the past few years we’ve ridden with several groups.
The good memories outweigh the bad, but we’ve discovered it’s usually better to ride our own ride.
Compatible riding styles, places of interest, time in the saddle makes it fun.
Going the distance, stretching physical and mental limitations reveals true character.
Crossing the Mojave in the afternoon of a mid-August day is an assault on those limitations….. one definition of hell on earth.
Someone who has your best interests at heart is a big part of what makes the ride, the RIDE! Funny how that works in friendship and marriage, too.
No matter what group you saddle up with, someone takes the lead. It might be hard to imagine, but it’s possible the leader of the pack will venture down some dark, dangerous roads. Oh, not hard to believe? Yeah, I’ve been figuring that out.
If it’s possible to go back to my 22-year-old self, after decades of blindly trusting leadership, I’d say:
Pack your bags, expect the best, prepare for the worst and keep your eyes open.
Will this adventure take you where YOU want to go?
Are there enuf stops along the way to make you feel important?
Do you get to vote?
Beware of smooth answers when you ask questions.
Trust what you see, not what you hear.
It may be a few hundred miles before the truth comes out. If the ride becomes all about someone else, it’s been their ride since the beginning. Nice words and promises are… jack squat! (this is a pg rated blog post)
A few years ago we found ourselves on the back end of several thousand miles, completely miserable from the weather and fatigue… totally frustrated with personality disorders that popped up in the group. Instinct had told us much earlier we needed to swallow some pride and find our own way home. No, wait, that was fear, sore butts, swollen feet, sunburn, bad attitudes and apathy.
But, we did what we thought was right at the time by hanging in there — tolerating bad behavior in the name of patience and grace. It took exhaustion and dehydration to get the memo. Never again.
I’ve been guilty of going the extra mile off the bike, too. (Shocking.)
Honor, respect and loyalty are easy for me, but it’s taken a long time to figure out who deserves it and when. Not many. Not often!
It’s a million times better to find my own way, trust my gut. Dad always told me to be true to myself. He was right! Being true doesn’t erase pain and worry. It doesn’t guarantee the wind at my back. But it’s made me a better me!