I had a full house of signups for my Seven 7 ride this morning, but only 3 people besides me came. That was OK, it was even more casual and more laid back then usual. This is the ride, for those of you following along at home, designed to take advantage of Folsom's lovely and mostly flat bike paths and to provide a venue for folks unsure of their bike-riding abilities.
We stopped after a couple of miles to pump up Seven Speed's tires (you met her in the September post 'Coasting Uphill'). My Topeak Road Morph was handy, so I pumped up one tire and Seven Speed pumped up the other.
I eventually ended up pumping both tires, since the tires were so soft (I'm amazed she could even go 5 mph!) it was hard to attach the pump head to the valve stem. We had a useful conversation about pumps and valve types and so on. Seven Speed was MUCH faster after the air-up. Yay!
So, this ride generated two quandrys for me to puzzle over: bike maintenance and the implied social contract of a meetup group.
My inclination, which I usually follow, is to Damn the Torpedoes Full Speed Ahead, Devil Take the Hindmost, Sink or Swim, and other macho jingles. In other words: it is your bike, and you are responsible for making sure it is ready to go before the ride. HOWEVER, 1/2 of the rides I run are super-casual rides for folks just starting out/ getting back on their bikes. Should I, as another meetup rider leader I know does, scurry around before the ride checking out everybody's bikes?
Maybe. Maybe not. I know that I will follow my previous practice, which is to be there to help people adjust their helmets, air their tires, adjust their seat height, but I will wait until asked or until it is obvious (or a safety issue).
I'm not in charge of the meetup group: I just run rides.
If I were in charge, my inclination would be a bit on the draconian side. So maybe it is just as well I'm not. In charge, that is.
I figure, if you sign up for a meetup and then don't show up it is kind of rude. If you do it two or three times in a row without ever coming to a meet, I feel like you ought to be bounced right out of the group. But this is a CASUAL group, so I figure I need to get my panties untwisted and develop a more casual attitude.
The true quandry comes when the ride is an attendance-limited one. I only limit the attendance if I think there is a high chance of lost or left behind. Rides on Folsom's bike paths are, for me, always limited. Those paths are darn twisty.
This time, the no-shows (and the repeat-offender no show) did not affect the waiting list for the ride: in other words, no one missed out because some dozy burke couldn't be bothered to un-RSVP. Next time, I don't know what I'll do. Should I email the repeat no-shows a few days before the ride and gently remind them? Should I invoke the automatic (optional) function of Meetup and ask a question when someone RSVPs yes? Should I ignore it?
I'm going to ignore it, since riding a bike, even a recumbent, with twisted panties is no picnic.