What if No One You Know Shows Up?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What if No One You Know Shows Up?

    Ladies, my wife can't answer this question for me, so....

    Personally, I've been known to show up at a random ride where I don't know anyone. I even once did a weekend rental with 9 complete strangers connected tenuously through a guy I barely knew (who is now a good friend). He eventually showed up, but I was flying solo for most of the 1st day. I have also gone to a group ride expecting to meet a friend and had them bail at the last minute. I go anyway, not knowing anyone.
    It happened today, so now it got me thinking:

    Since it seems to be quite different for ladies, do you go anyway? I have yet to meet a "sinister element" in all of my random group ride encounters, but I am always aware of who is there and what they're doing.

    Or is it "no big deal"?

    Thanks,

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  2. #2
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    It's always a concern that something could happen to me. I ride solo the majority of the time and keep my awareness on high alert. I recently joined a bike club and haven't been to any meetings or know anybody. I do plan on going for some rides with them. I do prepare to do what I need to protect myself. With that said I will still have a life and that does mean I have to spend time with strangers. But after that first time they won't be strangers.

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  3. #3
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    I would go and not think twice about it. I joined a women's group last summer and didn't know a single person when I joined. Biking is a great way to meet people!

  4. #4
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    I go on the group ride organized by a bike shop. There is always at least one person from shop there. I go with whoever shows up. Sometimes I car pool with a stranger to the trail head. Some times I go in the ladies ride sometimes just the regular ride. I have not have anyone make me feel uncomfortable even when I am the only woman. Donít think I would go one on one but in a big group I think there is safety.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaughman View Post
    ...but in a big group I think there is safety.
    I agree with this.

    I am def. more comfortable with at least a friend of a friend showing up, even if they are not my friend. Of course, I am pretty comfortable riding solo, so I have that going for me, too.

    I have a friend who's wife rides solo all the time because she feels she is too slow for the group. She can be gone pretty much all day, and back in time for dinner. She has never had a problem either. I feel like she is the exception, though, as far as her attitude - not her experience.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
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    Meh, bike people are nice. If they see a new person in the group, SOMEONE will say, Hey! and welcome you. Maybe it's just where I live, but I don't think twice about showing up alone at a new group. (I'm not a social butterfly; I just don't worry about bad things with bike people)
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  7. #7
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    .....
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  8. #8
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    I ride solo 95% of the time. I'll join a group of riders if I start talking to them on a trail and they're ok with me poaching the ride, usually they are, and I've made a few ride friends that way. I never feel unsafe in a group of legitimate riders.but I won't go out of my way to talk to a solo male rider on a huffy, either. I think most people who are out in the middle of nowhere are usually there for the same reason I am rather then nefarious activity and I've never - so far - had any issues with safety. On the contrary, when I ride with a group of guys I dont know, like a meetup, they're usually somewhat protective and will wait to make sure I'm ok which I appreciate, especially if I dont know the trail but I dont expect it especially if I started solo.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mLeier View Post
    I would go and not think twice about it. I joined a women's group last summer and didn't know a single person when I joined. Biking is a great way to meet people!

    ^^^^ This. I lead women's rides and there are times I'm the only one I know.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mLeier View Post
    I would go and not think twice about it. I joined a women's group last summer and didn't know a single person when I joined. Biking is a great way to meet people!
    Yep. Maybe I'm just naive, but this question has never crossed my mind.

  11. #11
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    I've often had this happen, and honestly never even given it a second thought and just jumped in. It seems like a pretty poor venue for a serial killer. Į\_(ツ)_/Į

    And like PermaGrin, I've spontaneously joined up with friendly groups I ran into in the back country, or even found the occasional poor-lost-puppy-dude out on the trail and towed them around so they got back to their truck OK. I'm not the best rider in the world but my nav skills are pretty solid, my survival/tool kit is overkill, and I'd rather intrude enough to know someone's gonna be all right than the alternative.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  12. #12
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    It seems that familiarity with ones surroundings (if not the other people), provides a greater sense of comfort in these scenarios. I have met a few people who are more comfortable in the hood than out in the middle of the woods with no one around. So while I could explain about camaraderie or self-reliance 'til I'm blue in the face, I think if any of us were put in the "wrong" place or unfamiliar scenario, we would proceed with much greater trepidation/doubt. This is probably an insurmountable barrier for a lot of people who might want to try mountain biking.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  13. #13
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Believable theory. When I'm in a big city, I feel like I have bugs crawling on me until the whole hot concrete mess is well back there in the rear view mirror, lol. And don't even get me started on lectures about the risks of bears and cats from people who REGULARLY DRIVE IN SEATTLE.

    Unfortunately though even a lot of rural women don't get the opportunity to get 'basic woods awareness/skills' as often as men do. IMO this is why I feel it's important to keep dragging women and ESPECIALLY young girls out there at every opportunity... it doesn't really matter why or what one does out there, just get them rummaging around and really looking at stuff and getting comfortable with recognizing what's a legit worry and what's benign and how to deal with it.

    When our daughter was young my husband wound up watching a lot of bushcraft Youtube videos and then we'd go out and just build fires with firesteel and whatnot. Before she was even in kindergarten we could drag the lil' unit out and tell her "get us a fire pile" and just see what happened... she'd be singing to herself and finding dead limbs that weren't wet, kindling sorted into piles by size down to tiny sticks, even cleverly IDing good natural plant choices for fire starter and piling the required 'more than you'd think you need but you do' quantity.

    Those kinds of experiences have taught her to see wild places not as a dangerous foe, but rather full of potential opportunities if the details were seen correctly.

    This is also one reason why I like guiding rides locally on the rare occasions I can shake the time free. Lots of people took the time to pass on detailed outdoor information to me and I like to pay it forward.... those rides aren't going to be fast but peeps seem stoked to start recognizing edible or medicinal plants, bird calls, wildlife signs, etc.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  14. #14
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    ^^ Love that!

  15. #15
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    I agree with you 100% about the concrete! I'm so relaxed once I get into the trees and dirt somewhere, anywhere, my whole disposition changes. People who don't get out don't get it so I also try to get them out. I usually end up with beginners, folks who want to get into riding or hiking but refuse to go out alone. I went on a local neighborhood hike with a new friend recently, in a private gated community in the foothills and he brought this mega huge bear spray can. Granted we have black bears out here but he couldn't believe I'd want to see one and wasnt worried at all. Give me rocks, cactus, lions, wildlife oh my anyday. If someone wants to try dirt I'll take them out anytime. I wish more people took their kids out young like you did. Even if it doesn't stick at least they got the chance to experience it.
    The mountains are calling...:yesnod:

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