Saturday, August 31, 2013

Strangers Have The Best Candy.

Ride start point for the Saturday EBC group ride.
This year's fall and winter bike touring events have taken over conversation at the Everglades Bicycle Club group rides. Everyone is making plans. Groups are getting together their "teams" for some events. Are you going to is the conversational gambit of the day.

I have a memory I pull up at times like these. Al and I were at a week-long event, doing a little socializing before tucking in for the night. It had been a particularly fabulous day. The weather gods had smiled. We'd ridden over 80 miles on a magnificent rural road which undulated gracefully over rolling hills, the rhythm occasionally interrupted by a picturesque small town or a scenic overlook of the surrounding area. As always, Al and I had ridden by ourselves rather than with a group, "Did you see that amazing Gothic church in the first village?" I asked one guy. "No," he said, "was it on our route?" "I took the best pictures at that overlook half-way through today's ride," I mentioned to one woman. "Oh, I wanted to stop there, too, but the group wasn't stopping for anything before lunch!" she replied happily. And so it went. It became apparent that for many people, touring on a bicycle was about miles, speed, bragging rights, food, and wine. All nice, of course, but not on my list of reasons for touring on a bicycle. (Except for the food. I'll grant you that wonderful food is at the top of my personal list.)

Today is Saturday. Our day for an Everglades Bicycle Club group ride. And it being almost the beginning of September, we talked non-stop about fall and winter bike events. But each time I entered one of the are you going to conversations, I took a deep breath and pulled up my memory of groups on tour. Then I opened myself to their excitement and savored the lure of riding an event with a group.

But when we go to events, I'll be riding just with Al, not with a group. I'd rather take my pictures, meander around looking at the architecture, and chat with people along the way.

I have a desperately rebellious sweet tooth. But I've learned through experience to stick to my own special candy no matter how good the other guy's candy may seem to be.