Yesterday I rode almost 30 miles, all destination oriented cycling (which is a fancy way of saying I was running errands and then decided to go out in the evening). The first 14 or so miles were by myself, and the second 14 were with my biking buddy and all around awesome friend Sunshine McHappyflowers (not her real name).
On our way to our event we passed a rather large groupride, on many different kinds of bike, all out to have a nice evening together. It got me to thinking about cycling not only as a sport or a form of transportation, but a vehicle for socializing. Sunshine and I are basically our own private little groupride and we regularly go frolic together on bikes. I'm realizing that cycling is one of my favorite ways to socialize partly because I most feel like myself on my bike.
Cycling, particularly of the errand-running variety, is most often a solitary activity (at least for me). You sit in traffic, wait at lights, change lanes, and so on. All of which is very practical when getting around town, but isn't doing a lot for my "Bike high" factor. But, the joy of doing my favorite thing with other people who love it as much as I go amps the Happy factor by a thousand times.
Sharing climbing up the hills, even the not-so-awesome experiences like getting cut off by buses, and that feeling of total freedom when you get to coast down a long slope.
It's also a great way to meet new people. Via organizations such as Social Cycling ATX and the Austin Cycling Events Calendar, there is no shortage venues for letting out your inner social butterfly on a bike in Austin, TX. And there are organizations like this in just about every major city I've had the privilege to cycle in.
Do you like to social cycle?