I got thinking about why women are reluctant to ride with others and I hit the jackpot today when a lady had to cancel her attendance at a ride I took this morning. It seemed like she had a legitimate reason but she closed with
“You’ll be faster without me anyway”
At the time, I took it on board and went to meet the others for a 10:30 roll out. While pushing myself up a hill, I thought about that comment and what it is about women being paranoid about slowing a group down.
I advertised the ride as social, I published the route and pointed out the major climbs stating that we’d regroup at various points throughout so there was no rush to smash it up a hill and pop. Even as ride leader, I had been out the day before up Blackstone Edge and Holme Moss so I was in no shape to be hammering it on the front.
So ladies, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to worry if you’re slower than most, you don’t need to apologise for having left your legs at home, just come out and ride. If a group wants to go fast and smash it up hills, they will state so in the lead up to the ride. If they don’t, that’s their fault and if they’re nice cyclists (and humans) they will include you in the ride anyway. I, for one, would.
Speed doesn’t matter on social rides hence their namesake. We all just want to have a good time, take a few photos to make others envious of what we’re doing and what they’re missing out on. There’s a time and a place for smashysmashy rides but a social ride isn’t either.
On that note, ride heaps and ride happy.