Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Drama, some people live for and are all about drama. Others are masters of excuses. I think it all boils down to self justification and the attempt to convince not only others but most importantly oneself. Convincing oneself that an action is realistic, justified and correct. Some people can convince themselves that just about any action that they choose to take is the correct one. You then have the second group, which is really just an insecure version on the first group, that has trouble convincing themselves that an action is just and appropriate so must first attempt to convince others such that others in turn can help convince them that the initial action is indeed, correct.

I believe that, at times, the drama and excuses are really just some of the unfortunate downsides of what essentially is a ride (support) group. I've argued before that one of the most important functions of a core group of people to ride with is in providing the collective motivation to perform a task when one may not necessarily want to do so. This core motivation may be achieved via simple encouragement, taunting, bravado, or just the desire to be social. Unfortunately, if the drama and excuses become chronic, it can start to negatively impact the overall group integrity. Having one or two people in a group who are always taking the easy out can become infectious and can spread.

Very early on, I recognized that this social network was the core component to a successful plan to engage in an active lifestyle many years ago. Since then I have always worked to secure and surround myself by a solid group of like minded individuals, to help keep me honest and on target. It's just too easy, at least for most people, to make excuses. As such, in promoting a healthy and successful group takes work. Clearly you nurture it, by keeping it intact and strong and prune away any destructive or unfavorable influences. You also need to be very selective in first qualifying and then slowly integrating new people to the mix.

This may seem ridiculous but one of the primary reasons why I remain in the area in which I live is the abundance of people who engage in similar activity, with whom I am free to form the groups that keep me motivated. The bottom line for me, as I honestly see it, is that a breach in the motivation would directly correspond to getting fat, again, which is something that I dearly hope to avoid. I've been there, most of my life, and I didn't really care for it.

You may be wondering how these observations have anything to do with riding bicycles. If you follow my often incoherent ramblings you may have noticed my references to the ride lists as well as to my somewhat militant ride etiquette and conduct. My actions concerning these aspects are not random. The primary goal is to retain integrity of the core ride group. This is why I am so obsessive and overly protective; it is self serving. A quality, healthy and motivated ride group supplements my own lapses in motivation. If done correctly, all I need to do is infuse the notion (and email to the list with subject:Road Ride Tue?), the rest will then come together on its own, from within the group.

If self motivation were infinite, there would be no need for all of this seemingly contorted, in some eyes underhanded and clearly discriminative list keeping. If it seems that I am being hurtful or mean, that is not the direct intent. Again, the intent is simply to the integrity of the group and the of the list. If you find yourself missing from the list you should simply be fair and ask yourself if you have been a productive member of the group, contributing to it's overall success, or if you have maybe slipped into a burdensome or subversive role within the group, detracting from the group's success. Cold and hard, but honest truth. You are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem, regardless of what that particular problem is.

I have enough trouble keeping myself motivated. The last thing that I need are other influences sapping what little motivation I do have. The simple reality is that on a cold, rainy Tuesday night in early April, at least three people will not hesitate to bail on you at the last moment. The up side is that if you have cultivated a solid ride group, four others will sufficiently HtFU and despite better judgement and common reason, will not. You will still be able to go out and get in an enjoyable and solid 50 mile road ride in some of the most horrific conditions imaginable. That's what it is all about. As for the list, I suspect that some yard work may be in order.

Getting rid of some dead wood.

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