If you’ve been a member of a riding group, you know there is always “that guy”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you may be “that guy”, in which case you should read this article carefully. Below is our list of group ride “do nots” to help make sure you stay on your local ride list.
Showing up to rides late or worse calling and asking people to wait. Everyone is busy, everyone has stuff going on. When it’s time to ride most groups don’t like standing around waiting. If you do show up late here are some excuses to try:
Passing the group leader. Group rides aren’t races. The group leader knows the route and if they are really good they are picking a pace they know will keep the group together. Save your hammer time for hard training rides and races.
Having you bike break down regularly. Some mechanical issues are unavoidable for example flat tires or a stick in the derailleur. However, if most of your rides involve everyone standing around you while you swear at your bike there’s probably a problem that needs addressing. The solution is simple, get a quality bike and service it or pay a shop to do the work. It’s also a good idea to carry some tools, a tube, pump, and master link so you can be self-sufficient.
Only talking about bike related things. There is more to life…we think? If you are having trouble extending the conversation beyond bikes other topics include: favorite beer, work, family, and if all else fails the weather.
Pressuring others to ride beyond their ability. Know the difference between healthy encouragement and overstepping your boundaries. “You can do it” = YES. “Just do it, don’t be a [any word can go here]” = Hell Naw. If you don’t know the difference, it’s better to just smile and nod.
Complaining about everything. A surefire way to get booted from the ride list, or virtually any social group, is constant complaining. Riding bikes is fun and for many riders it’s a way to reduce stress. That all goes out the window when there’s a Negative Nick or Nancy in the group.
Leaving the ride without telling anyone. When you are on a group ride everyone tends to look out for eachother. So if you need to bail on the ride for some reason make sure you let someone in the group know. Then everyone won’t back track looking for you and call out the search party.
If you follow these simple tips you are sure to be welcome on group rides and not earn the dreaded moniker “That Guy”.