You should really get a riding buddy, if you don’t have one. I’m a pretty solid introvert, but even I appreciate a wheel to suck, a bit of chit-chat, and someone else to decide where we’re going. Having a riding buddy also gives you someone to cancel on when you don’t feel like it. So get yourself a guy or a gal or a non-binary pal to turn the cranks with. You won’t regret it.
Unless you do.
Why might you regret it? Well, this should be obvious. Other people are annoying. Sometimes they just won’t shut up. Sometimes they get a heart rate monitor and do sneaky side-training without telling you and then bury you in shallow grave, metaphorically speaking, on a ride you thought was just gonna be your chill, local loop.
Get yourself a riding buddy, but carry pepper spray, just in case you have to disable them after a too spicy town line sprint. For legal reasons, it’s important that I say I’m probably joking about that. <wink/wink>
My riding buddies (I have more than one. Don’t act surprised.) have definitely had a net positive effect on my riding and my life. We’ve sorted through life’s challenges out there. A few times, they’ve towed me home after a particularly ferocious bonk. A few times they’ve led me to as yet unridden trails that were chef’s kiss superb, ooh-la-la awesome, scrump-dilly-icious.
A good riding buddy will dance around behind you while you fix a flat, putting the various tools and garbage where it needs to be. Sometimes they’ll take a shift on the mini pump when your arm gets tired.
A bad riding buddy will half-wheel you while talking a mile-a-minute about a TV show you’ve never seen.
A good riding buddy will show up at your house, ready to go, and roll out by your side without saying much, will take the first pull, will ease up because obviously you’ve gone out too hard, and will remember his/her/their wallet, because you never do and coffee must be consumed.
A bad riding buddy forgets to tell you that they’ve got to be home in an hour, knowing you’ve got a 2-hour ride planned. A bad riding buddy buys the bike you were planning to get yourself and had talked about openly on your rides together, and they get it on sale.
Look, it’s not all soft-serv and pony rides with a bike buddy. It’s not all tailwinds and tamagotchis, not all mango margaritas and endless breadsticks. OK. I could do that all day, but my point is, mostly riding with a friend is easier than doing it alone, and if you hate your riding buddy a little bit too, well, that can also be helpful.
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