It seems like every group has this guy. He’s the one every body looks at when there’s a group question. Or if someone has an idea, he’s the one they’ll ask or pitch it to. In the little group I ride with, the guy filling this slot doesn’t particularly want the position. We’ll just call him “The Old Man,” for the benefit of this blog. He’s always trying to get someone else to take the lead both literally in the riding order, and figuratively in the pecking order. He’s not had much luck.
Part of the reason we all look to him is simply his gregarious personality. His wife is an excellent rider and they often have the rest of the group over to their house. He’s never met a stranger and is always willing to extend a helping hand. Visits to their house often turn into to mini wrench sessions in his well appointed shop.
That leads to another part of why he’s the one out front. He’s very good at working on bikes and is a genius with body work and a paint gun. If anybody is having trouble with their bike or wants to modify it, this is the go-to guy. And it’s great having him along on the road. If anybody breaks down, we all stop and wait for his magic to make it better.
My wife and I ride alone quite often. After learning quite a bit about bike repair and maintenance from The Old Man, I don’t worry much about breakdowns. I can take care of anything that could be reasonably fixed in the road. Otherwise, there’s AAA and a cell phone.
But on group rides, let any bike make a funny noise or act a bit strange and all heads will turn to The Old Man. I guess it just gets to be a habit after a while. So, here’s to the leader of the pack. Better you than me buddy.
— Guy Wheatley