Went out and rode with a couple buddies and some other guys yesterday. It was fun, but unbelievably frustrating at times. Not to toot my own horn, but over my time of riding mountain bikes, I've become a very strong and capable rider. I like a lot of tech, rocks, roots, and drops. The gnarlier the track there better. I'm not one to get way up in the air, or do any crazy Red Bull Rampage type canyon drops, but I like to challenge/scare myself every time I ride.
The fellas I rode with yesterday (and I knew this before we set out), weren't quite as strong or capable as I. No problem. I love riding with everyone. Whether beginner, intermediate, or advanced, any ride, for the most part, is a good ride. The thing I don't like, is stopping every 5 minutes to talk and/or contemplate a section to ride. I'm all for having fun and making things social, but when the stop time outweighs the ride time nearly 2:1, things need to change.
We wound up getting in just over 5 miles of riding in over 2 hours and 20 minutes!!! For anyone this is ridiculous. Granted, the trails were very rocky, and we did stop to session a few cool spots, but the stoping and waiting killed the ride. It was a beautiful day (temps in the 70's) with sunshine, and we spent more than our fair share of time standing around in the woods. And, to make things even more frustrating, there were mechanical issues, crashing/injury issues, and general "out-of-shapeness" issues.
I don't wanna sound like a sour, pissed off jackass, but what could have been a great day of riding turned into a great day of a little riding, mixed in with a lot of talking, stoping, and general lolly-gagging. While I'm not seriously training anymore (at least for the moment), I still want to spend most of my time in the woods with my bike actually riding it and not standing around talking about it.
Don't get me wrong, the group I rode with yesterday are a great bunch. Nice guys that love riding for sure. My only gripe is that they spend a bit more time talking about riding than actually riding. Get the wheels down and turn the cranks boys. Next time I'll either choose my riding partners a bit more carefully, be a little more firm about riding more, or simply ride alone.