Kate and I hosted our 3rd group bike ride this Sunday at Chicken Creek Nordic Center in Mancos, CO. We started hosting these rides as a way to promote the monthly Sunday brunch at our local brewery. It has turned into way more fun than I had anticipated.
The original idea came up this spring when we were at the brewery for Sunday brunch and we were the only people there. We love our brewery because its a great place to meetup with folks and the owners, Kathy and Dwayne, are just great people. I suggested that we organize a group bike ride before brunch. That way everyone gets some exercise and then we go fill our faces.
The first ride was the first Sunday of June and we had a nice turnout of people. Most of them I had never met before. We chose the Nordic center as a meeting place as it is just a few miles outside of town and the trails are pretty easy for anyone to ride on. I got yelled at a few times for not stopping enough but we all had a good time.
This group ride is specifically called a no-drop ride. That means that we wait for everyone at regular intervals. For regular bike riders these types of rides are slow and boring. The good news is that they don’t have to ride with us on these rides. 😛 The goal of a no-drop ride is to make everyone feel welcome regardless of their capabilities.
Our technique for pulling a no-drop ride off is that I lead the ride on the route, and Kate brings up the rear. I then make sure to ride at a reasonable pace so that its fun for the faster riders and stop at the top of any climb. If anyone complains about us going too slow I let them know they can keep going. So far everyone has been really cool though.
There are moments on these rides when I think about how I could be riding much faster and when I was younger I would have pushed to go faster. Then I remember that the point of these rides is to encourage more people to get on their bikes and have fun. The best thing I can do is ride easy and have fun. So I talk to the other riders the whole time. This does 2 things: 1 it helps me get to know everyone, and 2 it makes me ride slow enough that I can talk.
We ended up riding just over 6 miles on a variety of terrain from single track to dirt roads and everyone did the entire route. No one crashed and there were no tears. Also this group was made up of all new riders to the group. Its pretty cool that each ride we have done the groups have been all new people. Hopefully we will get everyone who has been at separate rides on the next one and have a huge group ride.
Brunch was great and this time we were able to combine tables to have everyone sit and eat together. Feels good man. 🤠