To join organized groups or not? That is the question.

Have you ever joined an organized group for running or riding?

I have now tried one running group and one riding group and my overall experience wasn’t what I had hoped or expected it would be. I do have friends who are part of running groups and they love it. They have made great friends and meet new people. So, with Warren being in the Navy I thought that would be a great way for me to meet friends and still be active so I wanted to try them out.

Yesterday Warren was going to ride with a local riding group from a downtown bike shop for the first time and I thought I would go as well to try it. We met at 9:00am and received the brief about where the group would be making stops for people to catch up and where the group would break off into A, B, and C groups. They also let us know that no one would be left behind and dropped off. This sounded great since I was feeling a little leery that I was going to be able to keep up because I had never been part of a group ride. Before we left on the ride I told Warren to go and enjoy his ride and I would see him along the way. He stayed with me for a few minutes and I then told him to go. I felt comfortable that I would be able to keep up with someone in the group and maybe meet someone new I could ride with. Well…that was not the case and I was happy I had my iPod with me to keep me company.

The group left around 9:30am and by 9:40am I was riding solo. So much for a group ride but it was a beautiful day and I wanted to be riding so I was going to enjoy it either way.  I headed on my own, passing one or two of the riders who had been dropped as well. The route that we were riding was some of the same route that I had ran the weekend before in the McNeil Bay Half Marathon put on by Island Runner. I thought back about my run and how I was feeling at the different parts I was now riding, the guy I passed on one of the hills, the cat and mouse game I played with another runner, and how I was seeing the small things around me that were beautiful while the others zipped past and didn’t take in the beauty of their surroundings (or so I thought). By the way if you are on King Terrace Place there is a house near the end of the road with big windows and there is a crystal chandelier in it that sparkles and glitters in the sun; so pretty. I also thought about how my experience for this ‘group’ ride would be my next blog post.

While I was riding along I met Warren coming back. I asked why he wasn’t with the group and he said because they had stopped. I didn’t understand why they would have stopped because we were only about a half hour into the ride. Warren said it was because they were waiting for the group to catch up. To both of us that didn’t make any sense and we talked about how new comers who wanted the experience of a group ride would probably not return or at least I know I won’t. We decided to continue on past them and do our own ride. 57k later we were home and enjoyed our ride.

I enjoy being on my bikes and I enjoy running. I have realized over the years when it comes to running that doing a run that makes me feel like I have had a good workout I need to do solo and with the help of my iPod. I think the same can be said for riding. Riding for me is a form of exercise and freedom to explore and see more things in a larger surrounding than running can give me because I don’t enjoy those 2 hour plus runs. J One of my favorite times to ride Lily during the early summer mornings at 5:00am, when it is just getting light out, seeing the sunrise and the beauty it holds. I always smile and now get happy tears because it makes me think of my friend Grace, who now lives in Calgary.

So, in the long run, or ride…my experiences with group settings for exercise where you can go at your own pace on the ‘open road’ have not been right for me but in the end I still got my exercise in for the day so I would say they were a success in one way.

What do you think of groups for exercise? Are you a fan? Tell me about your experience.

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4 thoughts on “To join organized groups or not? That is the question.

  1. I’ve had one great experience, and one kinda crappy. The first one, everyone was super awesome. Had a great time running with them, and enjoyed the conversation. The second one was a different group, and it was very cliquey. I went a handful of times, and just could not ‘break the ice’ with any of them. They knew each other, as they had been in the group for years. Felt like highschool. I was the new girl, and the popular group wouldn’t let me sit at the lunch table. 😉 Didn’t motivate me to go for very much longer. I prefer running by myself now or with my spouse in any case. 🙂

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  2. Urban Running Girl-At least you went back to try and break into the group. It is hard when groups have cliques. I am a very friendly person but sometimes you just can’t break into groups already created so to speak. Happy that you can run solo or with your spouse. I can do that as well so I am lucky. He is faster than me but I can go the distance where he isn’t a fan. 🙂

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