Some of us are both destination riders and ramblers at different times, but when trying to entice others to go on a ride with you, knowing what kind of rider they are is useful. Both my husband and son are destination riders. They like to commute and will go on the occasional trail ride, but find their bicycle joy mainly in utilitarian cycling. I like utilitarian cycling too, but hey, I like all cycling. If you want to get friends and family to go out riding with you more, it helps to know what kind of riding they like to do. That doesn’t mean that can’t change over time.
Here in China I like to go exploring, or rambling, on my bike. I may or may not have a destination or even know exactly where I’m going. I come home with enough stories and pictures though that Steve sometimes gets too curious to let it go. That was the case this last weekend. We have a few days off for May Day (International Labor Day) and rather than fight the crowds like we did a month ago for Qing Ming (tomb sweeping day), when we traveled to see the Shaolin monks (originators of kung fu), he decided he wanted go on some longer rides with me.
First up was my newest discovery of Nuwa’s temple. On this ride Steve accomplished his first ever metric century, 100 km.
The day was hot, but we were able to take many shaded roads without too much traffic. I doubt he would have been interested in just going on a ramble, but a destination like this made it irresistible.
We did have a few off-the-map adventures, but not enough so that he soured on the ride. Food and water were easily had and the farmers were doing many interesting things in the fields to watch, so he didn’t get overly bored by the miles. The temple complex provided a needed break, and then we accidentally found another one I didn’t see last time.
On the way back we rode with two other cyclists for a bit (a rarity) which was fun, but had no common language. If you’re riding with someone new to the longer distances, understand that you’re just not going to ride as fast. You want them to have a good experience. Pick a higher cadence, a heavier bike or a load so you don’t get frustrated with the pace, if that’s an issue.
I’ll be challenged tomorrow with these same issues as I’m taking some friends who have never ridden 100 km and Steve on an expedition to see the pagoda at Beichangshediancun. Luckily there are attractions on the way so the ride will be broken into segments. If it gets too hot there is the river nearby to cool off our feet.
Whichever kind of rider you are, take the time to get others interested by offering to ride with them, to a destination or exploring. Oh, and don’t forget to log those miles for the National Bike Challenge!