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Can’t decide whether to ride solo or with a partner or group? Check out some of the benefits and challenges of riding with someone else! And add your ideas in the comments!

The Benefits

Motivation 

It’s raining. It’s pouring. You want to keep snoring. But Bing! Buzz! It’s your bike bud, texting that you need to wake up.

You put your pillow over your head. Another text: “Afterwards we can get breakfast.”

You’re in your helmet before your feet touch the floor.

It’s pretty simple: Friends don’t let friends miss their rides. Or breakfast.

Four Eyes (or more!)

Don’t see that broken glass? No problem, your cycling partner does.

You avoid the shards. Your tires survive. You’re on a straightaway again. You get home with a new PR and no flat tires.

And you do the same for your cycling partner tomorrow!

Visibility

Just as more eyes mean noticing more hazards, more bodies mean more people noticing you!

You’re riding alone, stopped at a stop sign, and the driver approaching the intersection thinks you’re just part of the scenery from her periphery. She charges through the intersection even though it is your turn to go. You narrowly avoid a crash and the driver waves apologetically.

With another rider, or multiple more riders, this is less likely to happen. Instead of a blurry spot in a distracted driver’s field of vision, you become a frenzy of color that attracts a driver’s attention.

Riding with someone can dramatically increase your chances of being seen. This is especially true at night. The more lights around you, the better.

 

The Challenges

Distractions

Yesterday your cycling partner got a big promotion. Tomorrow you’re going on an exciting vacation.

Cycling is a great way to bond, but make sure as you share stories and enjoy each other’s company, you keep your eyes on the road and your ears attuned to approaching traffic.

Pace differences

If you’ve biked as a child, you know the feeling of an older kid or sibling leaving you in the dust. The sense of competition can motivate you or make your ride miserable!

Maybe you are the fast kid now and you love the thrill of chasing your next PR, but your cycling partner isn’t feeling up to it today. Pace differences between friends or cycling partners can sour a ride if you’re not careful.

Check out the ways some couples have overcome pace differences here: http://www.bicycling.com/culture/tips/how-these-couples-solved-the-cycling-speed-gap

Car Aggression

A lot of car drivers think roads only belong to them. The more room bicyclists take up, the more frustrated they can get. Expect more honks or angry engine revving as drivers wait for an opportunity to pass you.

Fortunately, with a friend by your side, drivers have to slow down and wait for a good opportunity to pass. As a lone bicyclist, you run the risk of cars narrowly zooming by and leaving you in a ditch. By bicycling side by side, cars must slow down and wait for an opportunity that is safe for them to pass.

There are many more benefits and challenges to riding together and we want to hear from you! Comment below to keep up the conversation!

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