I have done the job of Gran Fondo New York ride leader for three years. Tomorrow morning marks my fourth year in the saddle representing both the organization and the sport of cycling, my third as Head of Group Rides for GFNY. I take both jobs pretty seriously (read: here). I'm always a little nervous the night before/morning of the first group ride. Will it all go off? Will the weather co-operate? Pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease let no one NOT ride single file in Piermont! There are a gajillion things that I think about in the three-ish hours between waking up and actually riding.
We meet, we joke, people give me waivers, I make announcements, we all joke some more and then we leave. From the moment I clip in to the moment I clip out at Strictly Bikes, there is nothing more important than the safety and experience of the people I lead. It is a singularly satisfying job. One that I am incredibly grateful to have and to perform.
Why this post tonight? Tomorrow is our first ride, yes. But today the GFNY hosted an event to kick-off the "riding season" for the first time. I was able to see people I've ridden with for years and meet many new riders. It provided both inspiration and motivation for the coming cold weeks of winter riding.
It reminded me that the warmth found in friendship, coffee shops and universal bitching about wind chill/clothing layers/flats/numb fingers/more clothing layers and post-ride belgian beer can't be compared to anything else. The cycling community is at it's best with GFNY. I'm very excited to share that again this year. Squee!
Cheers to all! It's going to be another great season!