At the CSC, one of our big mantras is ride your ride, it's not a race track, but I realized that might not be enough of an explanation, so I thought about it a bit and here's what I came up with.

You meet up with a group of riders to hit a canyon. The guy in front of you takes off, and you think you can keep up so you rabbit after them. The chase feels great, and youíre catching up. The adrenaline is pumping and the dopamine kicks in and that thrill, that high is amazing. What you donít realize, or forgot, is the rider in front of you probably has years of experience, many miles, and lots of practice building reflexes and muscle memory. Suddenly a car swerves to avoid a bicyclist, a deer steps out in front of you, a huge rock is in the apex or a turn is tighter than it looks. The person in front of you has the training to deal with the situation. You donít and now weíre picking you, and plastics, off the road.

As my dad used to say, ďAny idiot can take off and keep a plane in the air. The landing is the hard part.Ē Itís not about the speed, itís not about keeping up, itís having the knowledge and experience so, when things go sideways, you know what to do. It can be a humbling experience to realize you aren't there yet, but weíd rather you learn that lesson on the ground instead of in the twisties. The group will wait for you at the next stop so donít worry about being left, just ride your ride.