Group rides. We talk about them. Most of us speak of them fondly as if they are a social event, a chance to catch up and hang out with friends. We definitely like the idea of group rides. But somewhere along the way herd mentality kicks in and everyone forgets it is a group ride.
Now let me be clear, there is herd mentality (small h) and HERD mentality (capital H and all others). For the sake of what I am talking about right now I’m talking about the small h variety.
I have been doing group rides with the local cycling club for almost fifteen years now. I like the people that I ride with as individuals. As they ride in a group, not so much. This morning was another not so much time.
As we met at the local park, everyone was asking where I had been and telling me about what a great group ride they had the day before. My response was simple: I was on Zwift, doing a group ride (with the Herd – capital H) and talking to my buddies the entire time. The nice part being that I didn’t get dropped in the first mile and there were actually people to talk to for the entire two hours.
They laughed at me of course.
The group stayed pretty much together and they even waited for me after a couple of climbs. And then it happened. The inevitable crept in and herd (small h) mentality took over. It happened as we were making a left hand turn onto Pleasant Valley Road. I was about 20 feet behind and there were two cars coming which I waited for, but they did not. By the time I made the turn they were 50 feet in front of me, riding in a pack into the wind.
As individuals, I know each one would have waited for me but as a group? No way.
I rode the rest of the way alone. There was no conversation and I was wondering if it wouldn’t have been more fun riding with the Herd.
Never laugh at people riding on Zwift with the Herd (capital H). Sure makes the time go buy a lot faster and it is a lot more fun when you are riding with folks that have a Herd mentality instead of a herd mentality. Just saying.