Ok something you are going to have to accept right now. No matter how good you are feeling, no matter how fast you think you are going, no matter how many miles you have under your belt, someone, and most likely a LOT of someones are going to pass you. I know, I can you what yall are thinking, “Of course people will pass us, those spandex clad, team matching people on bikes that cost more than some cars are going to pass us every time!”
Well, yes they will, no question there. In fact, they will sometimes pass in herds! You will hear, “ON THE LEFT!” and a passel of bikes will pass you like you are standing still! Sometimes they match, and others you could go blind with all the colors you see blur by. Hell, sometimes the wind they generate will push you along for a while!
These, though, are NOT who I was thinking about when I started this post. I am talking about those who pass you that drive you nuts. It can be embarrassing, or even a bit demoralizing.
A prime example from my hiking days will illustrate my point here. There I was doing the uphill slog to Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier for the first time. It is a UGLY hike, ophill the whole way, and you feel like you are getting nowhere. I was feeling pretty good about my progress, when I looked to my right and I was being passed like I was standing still. The person passing me was a lady who HAD to be in her 70’s (I was 31 at the time) and she was flying up the mountain. She looked over at me and said “Slow and steady deary, you’ll make it!”and then left me in her dust!
Well I found out later she had done that route 1000s of times, and continued to do so for years afterwards. What did I learn from this? It doesn’t matter what a person looks like. They may be old enough to be your dad or grandma, but if they are in shape they will pass you. Today, it happened again, I was feeling really good about my pace, when I was passed by an elderly couple on a tandem bike. She was very nice and chatted a bit as she passed, followed closely by this little spit of a girl in all pink! Now, however, I have come to terms with it! Well sorta, there are still times I will speed up and try to prevent being caught by people if I notice them behind me. Sometimes it even works!
I’ve been passed by people who look like they are in such bad shape they are going to keel over, people 3 times my weight, elderly men AND women, kids and people on single speed bikes (those with no gears). I have learned to accept it! As time has gone on, I do pass more people than I used to, but I am still the Passee MUCH more often than I am the Passer!
I look for more important and enjoyable things now, like this guy!
Long and short of it though, unless you are on a ride with a finish line that closes at a certain time, it doesn’t matter how fast you go! Let the fast people fly by! Take your time, pace yourself. Ride your own ride. You will have a helluva lot more fun, feel better in the end, and want to ride more often. I also promise, the more you ride, the faster you will get! Someday you will be the one yelling, “ON YOUR LEFT!”