Is Bicycling Really Better With Friends?

I love bicycling and I love my friends. You with think combining the two would make for some happy, awesome times. Maybe for other people, this is what happens. I don’t know if it is me or if it is my friends, but I kind of hate riding with them. Somebody always ends up mad, or too tired, or something. It is no fun. So I avoid riding with people whenever possible.

I mean, there’s a major flaw with a bunch of people getting on bikes together. It is awkward riding next to somebody, for one. Sometimes the path is too narrow and you can’t ride next to someone even if you wanted to. Then there is the speed issue: I like to ride fast. I mean, my nickname is Velocity for a reason. Not all of my friends are capable of, or interested in, going as fast as I do. That’s fine. However, I also don’t want to get to our destination fifteen minutes before you do and then be forced to entertain myself until you get there. Other people are competitive, which again is fine with me in any other situation, but then it’s like we’re racing. Somebody loses and then is grumpy (not me, I am gracious as all get out when I win), and we’re not enjoying time together. So that’s bad. I can try to slow down but that can kind of ruin the fun for me as well. And if it’s not fun, I don’t want to do it. Let’s just drive there or take a walk or something.

Another thing that comes up a lot is that I like listening to music when I ride. Other people might think that’s “rude” because they want to “talk to me.”  I don’t want to have a conversation while we’re riding. First, we often will have to travel single file, and I can’t hear you all that great when you’re yelling at my back. And how am I supposed to answer you? Turn around? Second, I like to ride faster, which makes conversation a little more challenging than I would like – I am used to being silent except to yell, “On your left!” as I pass people going slower than me. If I want to chat with you, I’m not going to do it while we’re riding. Don’t misunderstand me, I love talking to my friends. However, I would much rather sit down with them at a coffee shop or something like civilized people and have a real conversation.

I know other people who have no problems going on long rides even with significant others or kids, and they somehow do everything like sane people. I have no idea how that’s possible, and more power to those people. I don’t know if it is me (it probably is) or my friends (not ruling it out) that makes it hard. For now, I would rather keep biking and hanging out with friends as two separate things, which suits me and my life just fine.