On Riding With a Partner

By my estimation, I’ve been on my bike far more in the last month than in the year since moving to the city. And this last month, most of my riding has been with M.

I like to ride alone most days. In the last year, I’ve learned to maneuver through red lights, stop signs, and jammed intersections. All I had to be concerned about was whether I can make the yellow light turning red. Whether I can fit between the delivery truck and the parked car. Whether I can comfortably pass someone on the bridge. Etc., etc.

Happy couple on crazy bike adventures! Yay.
The last 30 days though have been a completely different exercise. It’s been about getting into a different mindset beyond me, and my bike. It has been an exercise in thinking in terms of “teams.” I’m no longer alone on some of these rides. I have to take into consideration the speed, maneuverability, and safety of another in various situations while on the bike.

And so far it’s been a pleasant adventure. I still need to work on signalling though.

The great thing about having M as a riding partner is his enthusiasm for the ride. Frankly, the only reason I’ve been on so many rides as of late is because of him.

“We didn’t ride yesterday, so we should ride today. Are you busy?”

It’s a different kind of motivation from what I had when I first started commuting by bike three years ago. Back then, it was mostly about getting my ass out of bed and out the door.

This is the kind of motivation that goes beyond just the “I can commute by bike everyday.” This is the kind of motivation that gets you thinking within a “bike life” frame of mind.

There’s a seafood and meat market on the other end of our neighborhood. It’s doable, but it’s a bit far on foot. Enter the bike. Grocery runs by bike. Snappy.

The other day I made a sale of 17 books via craigslist. The meet-up point was in Union Square Park. Enter the bike. Errands and pack-muling it by bike. Books are effin’ heavy by the way, and the rippling roadways and potholes were most definitely not my friends. Fear of popping a tire was on extra-sensitive that day.

It’s amazing how much you can do on the bike. And it’s even more amazing the kinds of adventures you have with a regular cycling buddy.

Do you have a cycling buddy? If so, what kinds of adventures do you guys enjoy together? If you don’t, why not?

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