I told part of a story in a post the other day. It was a story about getting dropped and bonking and then coming back to life and rejoining the group and all of it working out in a way I didn’t expect, with shifting feelings and motivations. What I did quite deliberately was leave the names out.
There’s something not so cool about dropping a friend, something karmically suspect. Sure. There are rides where you’ve all agreed in advance to go full gas, to let the road or trail sort it out, and on a ride like that you expect to crush or be crushed. It is not the sort of ride I participate in much anymore.
The story I told was not about a ride like that. That was just a ride on which I happened to get dropped, unceremoniously and without much pity. It’s true that I ought not to have tried to follow the front group, but it’s also true that some of those guys needed me more than they knew. I wasn’t mad, on the day, but if we’d all worked together a little bit, everyone would have had an easier ride.
Another time I was in a kind of invitation-only team race. There were no prizes, but this was all bike industry and wink-wink inside folks, and most everyone was down to get rowdy, if you know what I mean. Trick was, the whole team needed to finish, and our team was a full-tilt goat parade. I spent the first half of the ride shepherding a weaker teammate who eventually bailed, and then later I bonked and needed help myself, only to have my guys put the hammer down and drop me a few miles from the finish.
On that particular day I expressed some rage. It was just dumb bike riding. I’m not much concerned with winning a thing like that, but when I’m on a team, I expect the team to ride for each other.
These days, as I said, I’m not showing up for too many hammerfests. I prefer exploratory rambles, sunsets, and exotic mocktails, you know?
This week’s TCIF asks, have you ever been dropped and left for dead? Did you deserve it? Did you throw a nutty over it? Or, and this is a big ask, have you ever been the bad friend? Why? And would you still do what you did, when you did what you did?