Just a quick update on this weeks night ride, that isn’t really an update about the ride at all. I bumped into a mate a few months ago who had just got his first mountain bike and having seen my facebook updates mentioned he was keen to get involved. A few months past and I hadn’t heard from him, so last weekend I got in touch and asked him if he fancied a burn this week.
I lent him a trail light and we shot out Wednesday night for a easy paced one around South Birmingham. I had in mind to do the 20 mile loop that I first put together once I had ventured off the tow paths when I first started riding. We only ended up doing 12 miles as he was flagging a bit and feeling the strain as he hadn’t really done any riding at all over the winter and his fitness was letting him down somewhat. At first I was quite surprised at how much even some gradual hills seem to be tiring him out but as we rode on I started to think back about how my own fitness improved and actually how much of a struggle the first few proper off road rides were. I was lucky that I could start fairly slowly and get some base fitness just commuting, not slogging through the mud like we were Wednesday. As we rode on he clearly warmed up but was understandably reluctant to commit to going to far on this, our first outing.
I think it was sensible to turn back when we did as it didn’t kill him and gave him a taste of what to expect next time. It also ensured there would be a next time as he clearly enjoyed it and has already been in touch about what day we are going next week. Although it was a really short ride in my normal terms and if brutally honest I didn’t really feel like I had a night ride this week, it was actually really fulfilling to feel like you have helped someone else on there path into this brilliant sport/hobby that we enjoy. I’m sure if he comes every week, in 3-4 weeks time he’ll be up to doing the 25-30 miles we normally get done in an evening and we’ll all have some new ride buddies to enjoy the long summer evenings with.