The last two Tuesday mornings I've managed to drag my butt out of bed in time to make it downtown for coffee with these fine people. The banter is mostly light and fun with some great people who've been very inviting even though nobody there really knows me from Adam.
As I sit here and should be fiendishly working on my projects, I can't help but ponder a few random thoughts. It's been a number of years since I've worked to make any new friendships other than with people I'm thrown into some situation with i.e. coworkers, friends of friends, etc. The last group of people I found myself entwined with of my of volition were a group of various people on one of the car forums I frequent. I just showed up one day, starting reading the forums and engaging various members. Soon enough I guess I'd built up some street "cred" and even had people referencing some of my posts and such. I even managed to meet up with a guy that happened to live about 20 minutes from me who was another maniacal tinkerer. We struck up a great friendship and sadly we've actually both moved into other areas of interest for our hobbies so the friendship has drawn down to a low simmer.
So what does this all have to do with cycling? Nothing much, other than they're the object of my effort to make some new friends. I definitely found a few new friends by attending the group rides all summer last year and I have to say the vast majority of the people I met were extremely nice. The odd thing about this time around is that there is no security blanket of a forum to learn, expand, and be recognized in. Other than reading some of the local blogs and stirring the pot a bit, I actually have to show up and meet people without really know them which is a bit odd for me. While I wouldn't necessarily classify myself as a loner by any means, I do seem to keep a pretty limited amount of friends at any given time, with few of those being what I'd consider close friends, and rather find myself spending a lot of time hanging out and doing my own thing.
I think part of that mentality about hanging out alone is what brought me to the sport of cycling. It gives me the opportunity to go out and be by myself while engaging in an activity that I can focus on in lieu of the million other things that typically run through my head in a non-stop stream. Yet, the ironic part is I find myself wanting to be a part of the fellowship of riders and slowly driving myself to be a better cyclist to better fit in. Of course, the funniest part of all is, it's all in my head. I'm sure I could show up at just about any given race, ride, coffee time and be treated just as nicely by any of these people. They're really a great lot.