I have met many athletes who are solitary creatures when it comes to training. It tends to be a runner’s proclivity rather than cyclists. However, if you lean too much to singleton rides you’ll miss some valuable opportunities that could make a significant difference to the benefit of your training and your performance on race day. Besides, don’t be so sure about your solitary nature when in fact it may be learned behavior. Most of us have been raised in cultures where we do not have open houses. Just how many of your neighbour’s homes can you comfortably stroll into? The thing is we no longer practice community so have developed a tendency to shy away from it. You have to face it, social skills take practice and you may have to summon up the courage. Joining a running club, cycling club or a swimming group is an essential component of your preparation. Standards really don’t matter. People welcome beginners, or the less talented, it’s great for the confidence for the one who happens to be the slowest in the group to have someone join who is slower still. You will always have someone to chase and there is no shame in bringing up the rear. Your mixing it, that’s the main thing!