“Can I make it?”

Photo: So glad I cleaned my bike yesterday. It was sparkling when I set off this morning.

Today’s ride got me thinking about leadership.

One of today’s rides (an ICC ride named after a film) was so popular that we had to split into three groups. I ended up leading one group, which was fine as I was the only rider who had ridden the course before. I say the only person but many had ridden it before but clockwise. We all decided to do it in reverse, so we called it “Boj Nailati Eht”. This was my third time riding it in reverse, so I had a leadership advantage. I was the only one who new for sure where to go.

Just short of the coffee stop one rider had a puncture. Another rider asked me for directions to the cafe. I knew why he was asking, so I refused to tell him. He wanted to zoom off on his own. I have a strong view that when you join a group ride you stick with the group, no matter if they are slower than you’d like to go. We had one rider who was a little, but not much, slower than the rest. My job was to support that rider and keep the group together. To be fair he accepted the decision not to give him directions and even said “I think I’m being admonished”. He was. It was an interesting leadership challenge for me as the rider concerned was one of the founders of the club.

My next leadership question was somewhat bizarre. We were just about to set off again for the cafe when one of the riders said he needed a pee and how far was it to the cafe. “12km ” I said. “Can I make it?” he asked! I politely replied that it was quite difficult, in fact impossible, for me to answer that question. In my head however I was thinking something very different.

Two small leadership challenges. Both resolved in the same way, by not answering the question.

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