You love riding your bike, but everything’s better with a buddy. Whether your friends are die-hard riders or they’ve never pushed a pedal, it’s possible to have an awesome two-wheeled hangout. In today’s post, we’ll cover the basics for making sure your first friend-ride doesn’t fall flat.
Nothing will end your day faster than a mechanical issue, so make sure your bike (and your friend’s) is up to the task. Air in the tires, lube on the chain, pads on the brakes, etc… Have your bike ready to go before your friend arrives, but be sure to give theirs a look-over and tune-up before you roll out too!
You’ll also want to make sure you’re prepared for whatever might come up on the road, so pack your tools, spare tubes, patch kit, pump, etc... That way if anything happens to either one of your bikes, it just turns into a rest/coffee break and not a call for roadside assistance.
If your pals ride regularly, you probably already know their pace and stamina but, if you’re riding with someone new be sure to plan something that won’t be overwhelming. Don’t plan a hilly climb course or a fifty-mile tour - just like in show biz, you want to leave them wanting more. The goal at the end of the ride should be an excited “That was awesome! When are we doing this again?” as opposed to an exhausted, “Well, that was enough biking for… ever”.
Have a Destination
Riding is fun, but riding somewhere is fun and productive! Plus, just like “dinner and a movie”, the ride to lunch/coffee/the zoo/etc… will give you the shared experience to talk about when you arrive. Having a firm destination also makes it easier to stay motivated in the saddle. When your friend says “How much longer?” it’s great to be able to say, “Only 1 more mile ‘til we’re at the coffee shop, so about 5 minutes” instead of “Oh, I don’t know – how much longer can you keep going?”.
Go with the Flow
With that said, don’t be afraid to mix up your plans with things that pop up on the way. I’m consistently surprised by the interesting things you see on a bike that would be totally missed in a car – hidden art installations, impromptu concerts, cute dogs, garage sales full of hidden gems, the list is endless. One of the best parts of travelling on two wheels is your ability to park anywhere, change directions on a whim, and just explore. If you and your friend ride with open eyes and open minds, you’ll likely stumble into something even better than you planned.
So get out there and do it! Phone a friend, hit facebook, or just open your window and start shouting, “Who wants to go for a ride?” No matter who you roll with, follow the pointers above, and you’ll have a blast.