What do you get when you combine six men, bicycles and 50+ miles of bike trail? A weekend full of smooth riding, plenty of laughs and yes, LEADERSHIP!
I recently went on an overnight bike trip with five other gentlemen from my hometown. The weekend started on Friday evening when we met in Xenia, Ohio for dinner. We found ourselves at Nick’s Restaurant, where it also happened to be karaoke night! Although nobody in my group participated, we enjoyed listening to the other brave souls try their best at popular (and some unpopular) songs.
On Saturday morning we departed for our destination, Mariemont, Ohio, a town just four miles from Cincinnati. We spent the night at the Mariemont Inn (Best Western Premier), which turned out to be one of the neatest hotels I’ve ever stayed in (be sure to watch the bonus video at the bottom)! After a satisfying dinner at Dilly and some much-needed rest, we returned back to Xenia on Sunday.
Both days of riding were completed safely, and that’s not by chance. The first few miles of riding were pretty slow as we warmed up on Saturday, but as the day went on and we put more trail behind us, it was easy to see how leadership skills are used while riding in a group!
- Communication – Just as good leaders communicate to their team, you must constantly be ready to communicate what your next move is in order to safely ride in a group and/or on a trail with other people. We ended up sharing the trail with a relay event for runners that stretched from Cincinnati to Dayton. The rider in the front would call out “runner up” to inform the others in the group. Others calls were used to inform people that we were passing, or to signal if it was safe to proceed through a road crossing.
- Teamwork – Where you position yourself in the group is extremely important for the safety of the other riders. It’s nice to ride close to others for conversational purposes, but it can also be unsafe. Each member of my group was sure not to ride too closely behind another. This made it safer for the rider in front to slow down if needed and also, if riding two abreast, gave riders a chance to move over for oncoming traffic. This type of teamwork is crucial for the prevention crashes!
- Expertise – Different leaders can have different skill sets. If you’re going to participate in a sport such as cycling, it helps to know a thing or two about the bike you’re riding. Several members of my group were able to share different kinds of information. For instance, one rider expressed to another that the height of his bike seat was unsafe, which could cause unnecessary strain or injury while a different rider was able to make quick mechanical adjustments to a bike to correct shifting errors.
As the ride came to a close on Sunday, I had ridden nearly 150 miles. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to the sport, I strongly suggest venturing to Xenia, Ohio to ride the many trails the town has to offer.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s bike trip. I wonder where we’ll go?