I love solo rides: my 12km commutes, 60km of hilly fun or 100km of tranquil solitude. To explore new territory. To stay effortlessly fit. To recharge. To escape. To practice mindfulness and increase self-awareness. To sort things out. To solve problems. To be inspired. To come up with new ideas. To think and come up with new insights. To not think about anything at all. I can ride wherever I want, as far as I want and for however long I want. I can be antisocial and don’t have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to. My solo rides are MY time. My time to be utterly free.
And then there are the rides with a friend or a few (preferring small groups). We see the best and worst of each other… and we fortunately get to see the ugliest side of each other— think snot flying out of our noses while covered in dead bugs, dirt and sweat and not to mention, that grotesque expression in our suffering faces. No one judges. Everyone is supportive. Conversations lasting over 200km+ maybe random, ludicrous and ridiculously entertaining. Some spoken on a high note while others will be words sparingly spat out laboriously over the course of a 20% grade hill in a desperate attempt to keep an interesting conversation going. It is appropriate to say, you develop a special relationship and respect for people you ride with, as we to go through so much joy and torment in our like-mindedness, during a ride.