TONIGHT I SHOWED UP FOR THE DOCENT MTB RIDE. My first time, didn't know a soul. Always weird. On my gravel bike. Which make me extra weird, and super self-conscious.
Everybody seems to know each other, know their spot in the group and know I don't belong. It's not that cyclists are unfriendly or cliquey it's just human nature. I get it.
But, if there's one thing I know about group rides and newbs it's that sooner or later there will be a separation and I'd be riding with a handful or just one rider.
Bingo... I've found my spot. Atop a breathless climb we stop.
That first steep pitch had me concerned.
That small talk turns into... You going down Centipede?
I guess. How steep is it?
He looks at my bike, I can tell he's hoping from some cheap entertainment.
I look at him and think Let's go friend.