For months I have done my best to find other people to bike with. Aside from wonderful bike rides with my family (shout out to my awesome big sis) I have been unable to connect with any other cyclists. I was beginning to think that all the bikers I see are lone road prowlers who never ride in packs. But on Saturday, my boss casually dropped a bomb. She mentioned that a group of cyclists meets up in front of an ice cream shop in town on Monday nights. Say what?
The same ice cream shop that I had called and asked whether they had any organized bike rides and been told, “They aren’t doing that anymore.”
Thrilled by this new knowledge that weekly bike rides were indeed being held, I decided to show up and check it out for myself. This is easier said than done, though, because the ice cream place is in the town where I work, ten miles from where I live. My timing would have to be perfect to make it back and forth by 6:00 pm.
At 3:20 I left work and biked home. Once home, I scurried around like a little squirrel; feeding and walking my dogs, taking a shower, checking my tire pressure and grabbing a bite to eat. Then I rode back to my workplace, dropped off my excess stuff and headed nervously over to the ice cream shop. I had no clue what I was getting myself into.
But when I arrived, I could not see a bike anywhere, even with my tunnel vision bike eyes. So I went inside and was told that, yes, there were normally bike rides on Monday night but usually people would be there by now. And no, they didn’t have phone numbers to contact anyone.
I went outside feeling sad. I knew it was too good to be true. I would have to wait until next Monday. But just in case, I biked a few miles and then looped back. Still no bicycles. Maybe just one more little loop, just to make extra sure…
As I rounded the very last turn, I saw a blessed sight. A man on a bicycle! And he was headed straight for the ice cream shop storefront. Hallelujah! Soon he was joined by another cyclist and I pulled over to meet them.
We were the only ones who turned up, but they assured me that normally they have a larger group. They started asking me questions about my biking and where I lived and worked. Then one of the guys said, “There was a woman who biked to work in the winter this year…”
All of a sudden he cut off and looked me straight in the eye. I must have given it away somehow because a look of understanding crossed his face. “It is you, isn’t it. I passed you on the road in the winter and I thought to myself, that person is slow to be biking out in that weather!”
I laughed. He is not the first person to think that I am a bit insane to bike in snow, but hey, I just happen to think it is loads of fun!
So then we got to the actual biking part. Twelve miles at an easy, conversational pace. They talked about their own biking, one of them bikes in charity rides as well organized races, the other fellow has started biking for his health. It was good fun, I will do my best to be at the front of that ice cream shop next Monday.
I still can’t believe it! I get to bike with people!
Boy, isn’t life grand?