Anyone can lead a bike ride

About 15 years ago, Mrs. Smith convinced me I could do RAGBRAI. Me. An overweight, out-of-shape smoker.

ragbrai_2008_013ac

I bought my first Schwinn.

To help get myself in shape, I joined the Hawkeye Bicycle Association and started going on weekend group rides with a bunch of people I’d never met before. I also started riding with other friends.

Back then, John Dicus seemed to be the HBA ride “leader” pretty much every weekend. Part of the leader’s job actually is to follow – to bring up the rear with the slowest rider so no one gets left behind or lost. He never seemed to mind hanging out with me, even though he was and still is one of the fastest cyclists I know.

John’s never-ending patience with me is one reason I don’t mind hanging back to bring up the rear on those few occasions when I volunteer as Saturday ride leader. I’m no longer always the slowest person on the ride myself (some of the time, sure), but I like to encourage people to join and share the fun of riding with the group.

And I’m usually not in that big of a hurry anyway.

HBA’s annual Ride Leader Meeting is coming up soon — Monday, Feb. 9, 6 p.m. at the Marion Public Library.

To become a ride leader, you show up, decide what day or days you’d like to lead a ride, and you pick the route for that date. It’s that simple.

Anyone can do it.

Put that Monday evening on your calendar. Have some fun. Lead a ride.

~ ~ ~

P.S. I haven’t touched a cigarette since that first RAGBRAI experience. I have a new addiction, and I don’t miss that old one. Another reason to get on your bike and ride.

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1 Response to “Anyone can lead a bike ride”


  1. 1 art3 January 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    A few years ago, following back surgery, I got very interested in RAGBRAI, and started going on Saturday morning group rides with HBA, using a bicycle designed for trail riding. People I rode with were quite willing to share advice about bicycling equipmet, accessories and clothing. I soon realized that I had found a wonderful recreation and a wonderful group of people more or less my age who also enjoyed long-distance cycling immensely. Since that time 4 years ago, I’ve acquired a faster, lighter bicycle, but I still ride near the tail end of the pack (mostly by necessity). That’s OK – on RAGBRAI I have chances to pass lots of people, and lots of people pass me.


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