Take a Break and Hit the Road with a Group of Like-Minded Cyclists
Our small group a riders crested the hill about 20 miles into the ride. After a short sprint, one of the riders boasted that he was the king of the mountain for the day as we rolled into the coffee shop halfway through our ride.
The group consisted of two CEOs, one from a biotech company and the other from a large software company, plus a mutual fund manager, a corporate finance consultant and me, a small business entrepreneur.
We are all serious cyclists and enjoy being a little competitive and pushing our bodies. Our rides are not all competition and riding hard. We also have in-depth conversations during our long training rides.
Conversations range from family to leadership, and even problems and issues at work. As a business owner, it is invaluable for me to have access to such a broad range of business leaders.
On a recent ride, I brought up a problem that I was having in my business. For three hours, the group talked about my problem, and by the end of the ride I had some great ideas.
The bicycle is the common ground.
It has been said that cycling is the new golf. In some respects that is true, but pushing yourself physically and mentally within a group creates a strong bond that I believe is much more powerful than having lunch at the country club.
Cycling is a great casual way to build relationships.
Through many years as an avid cyclist, I have built lasting relationships both personally and professionally with people that otherwise I would probably never have met.
With the common bond of cycling, we go out of our way to help each other, both on the bike and off. If I travel somewhere, I just ask my riding buddies for connections in a new town so that I have someone to ride with. If someone is looking for a job or wants advice on a new startup, the group is there to help.
Seek out riders at your skill level.
It’s important to find riders who are at your skill and fitness level. Seek out people and ride with them a few times to see if you ride well together.
I have often been on rides during which it becomes clear that certain people are there just to network. Nobody wants to go on a bike ride and have someone hand you a business card. We are out there first to have fun and enjoy the outdoors.