My first ride with a friend in TWO MONTHS

It feels like there’s no *right* time to start hanging out with people again because it’s become so routine to not…but after two months of pedaling alone, I was starting to go completely nuts without company.

Part of the reason I ride is to be social! To catch up with friends, meet new people, see cool places, make awesome memories together, and stop for mid-ride snacks and post-ride coffees and pastries. When I went out for ride after ride on my own, I started to feel like…what’s the point?

I mean, I love cycling, so that’s the point. And the sunshine is nice, so is catching up on podcasts and riding my favorite routes, but conversations with real humans while covering some dirt miles is the best. Another friend was feeling the same—and also very comfortable riding with others who have been healthy and quarantining—so a couple weeks ago we made plans to ride together last Sunday. We met up in Louisville at 9 a.m. sharp so I could show him some awesome dirt roads near me.

We headed out of town and onto some dirt out on the fringes of Superior/Boulder. I’ve ridden these trails a couple dozen times since moving back and forth from Boulder to Louisville, but showing them to a friend I hadn’t seen in close to six months was such a blast.

We got to catch up on life and work and his brand-new puppy (!!) and how we’re dealing with the COVID situation. It’s funny how easily we can all slip into talking about Coronavirus because it’s something the entire world has in common right now.

But it got stale like it always does, so we kept riding and kept talking about all things bikes and where we plan to ride them in the future when we can get together in bigger groups one day. Like old times.

We only rode together for a couple hours, but it was exactly what I needed. It completely filled me up like Zoom calls and FaceTimes and phone calls just can’t. When I talk to family and friends on the phone or on social media or through texts, I don’t get that hit of satisfaction and joy and fulfillment that I do when I’m face to face with someone, sharing an experience or studying their facial expressions. My social tank is never quite filled up after a phone call, but on Sunday it was overflowing, and I finally felt satiated.

When we parted ways in Boulder, I was so happy I could’ve cried. The friendships I’ve formed in the last two and half years have added so much flavor and joy to my life; I don’t know what I’d do if this physical distance thing was permanent.

I have some more rides with friends planned in the next couple weeks, which I’m excited for, and will give me something to look forward to since my races have either been postponed or cancelled this year. I got so excited for it last weekend that I ordered some new kits and even dropped my bike off at the shop to get some very necessary maintenance done that I can’t do myself. I can’t wait to pick it up this week; it’s going to feel like a brand-new bike. Have a lovely week, everyone.

Have you started seeing friends or family yet? Do you think you will soon?

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