|Ride start point for the Saturday EBC group ride.|
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.)
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.