Not everyone has this problem.
It’s 6:00 PM on a Friday night. I’m alone. The one thing I’d really like to do right now is have a drink. This is different from people who just want to “have a drink.” When I say “have a drink” what I mean is “Have a whole bunch of drinks, tonight, tomorrow, and every day henceforth until blotto forever.”
There are a bunch of reasons not to do that. But you know what’s more important than reasons not to do it? People.
There are people who, wittingly or not, are my guides. Some are people I barely even know and watch from a distance, awestruck. One is a guy named David Wells. He’s from the East Coast, and showed up one day in the South Bay full of good cheer.
He did the local rides, established himself as someone who knew how to pedal a bike, got fitter week by week, and then joined Team Lizard Collectors. We all figured that the way he rode, he’d be ripping up the local races as soon as January rolled around.
But he didn’t. Instead, he took a scary level of fitness and shared it. He created a ride called “Thursday Night Thunder” where people of any ability level can get help learning the skills that we leaky prostate profamateurs have had for decades and done a lousy job of teaching.
At TNT you can practice descending, jumps, attacks, recovery, tough intervals, and friendly competition all done with kindness, encouragement, instruction, and enthusiasm. If you are riding with Dave and you’re not having fun then you’re doing it wrong.
There are so many club riders who want to improve but who don’t want to do it in the race crucible, or who don’t want to risk life and limb to learn how to maneuver in a group, and there are so few expert riders who will regularly carve out time to nurture, teach, encourage, improve, and enthuse.
What does Dave’s brand of human excellence and goodness have to do with Friday night and nothing between me and the refrigerated shelves at the supermarket around the corner?
As it turns out, everything.
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