Under-Dressed and Alone

A couple weeks ago I was riding my usual route on base when I noticed a fellow military member standing beside the road. Holding a rifle. A little further up the road, there was another one. This pattern continued for some distance, making me feel somewhat under-dressed. I probably should have joined the party thusly:
Then again, the Secret Service gets a little twitchy when random people start brandishing weapons during a presidential visit.

This was actually a couple hours before Air Force One touched down, and I was trying to sneak a ride in before the place turned into a madhouse with people desperate to get a glimpse of President Obama. I wanted to be far, far away from that scene. It's not a political thing, although I may have differing views on any number of subjects. Rather, I just hate people. Small gatherings I can handle, but crowds have never been my thing. I don't get carried away with the energy of a shared experience. I'd rather define my own.

The vast majority of my riding is solo. While I race as much as my body and spouse will stand, and I show up for the random group ride (we don't have many of them up here), most of the time I'm alone out there fighting the wind. Sometimes I envy people who live in a place with a vibrant group ride culture, where the week is defined by this group ride or that group ride and the margins are filled in with solo rides. Then again, those places don't usually have as robust a race calendar as we do, and I prefer racing- even if nobody really cares who won or lost.
Maybe this weekend I'll hook up with a fellow rider or two. Nothing too big. When you want the conversation to end, you ride faster. It's hard to come up with witty comments when you are barfing. When you feel like talking, you ride slower. The key is not to ride with someone significantly stronger than you, because then they dictate the ebb and flow of chit chat while you're limited to monosyllabic grunts.

Today I'll get out there again and ride alone. My social interaction will probably limited to a wave or nod to cyclists, drivers, and joggers. Maybe a word or two with the gate guard. The rest of the time I'll be free to sort out my thoughts without outside intervention. Egocentric douchebags like me need that "me time" so we can remind ourselves just how darn special we are.

You'll get no argument here.


Popular posts from this blog


Taking Stock.