I have a confession: I prefer riding alone.
I socialize enough off the bike and the introvert in me is always yearning for an escape, which is one of the many reasons I am drawn to cycling. Yes, certain longer rides are only fun with a small group of friends but the majority of the time, I don’t want to socialize. I don’t want to talk. I just want to ride my bike… get lost in my thoughts and listen to my music (I only have one ear bud in, okay). I want to be alone. I need to be alone.
I thrive in solitude.
Doesn’t it just irritate you when you are clearly DYING and someone just keeps on trying to talk to you. Can you please stop rubbing it in my face? Just because you are a super fit human being, can you not see me struggling to breath while trying to come up with a reply to your question so I won’t be rude? Some days when I’m doing laps around Stanley Park, I slow down and let cyclists pass me so I can continue riding in isolation.
But seriously, I do enjoy the occasional group ride… I just need my time alone too so I can be reinvigorated.
I use to feel guilty about this— cycling is supposed to be a “social” sport… but the world is hard for us introverts, when everyone expects you to live up to the extrovert ideal: being social, out-going and talkative all the time otherwise you are labeled as boring, shy and not a team player. Introverts are not necessarily anti-social and quiet. Alright, maybe at times, but I am not a shy person and I love going out. We just need our time to “recharge” because socializing zaps all our energy away. It’s even harder when all my closest friends are natural extroverts so I always struggled to “keep up” with their energy, which was something I never quite understood but now, I know to never apologize for who you are.
It’s quite often misunderstood that common behavioral traits define introversion or extraversion but after reading Quiet by Susan Cain, and learning that there are actually biological factors in our genetic make up involved, I now embrace my need for silence.
And you know what? Thank god for my bike!! She’s my meditation and my escape.