Dangling, what a word. It's one that gets your attention – dangling off the edge of a cliff or from the roof of a building. And then there's that dangling participle that our English teachers warned us or even scolded us about. Can anyone define "dangling participle"? It sounds like a physics experiment gone terribly wrong, a cross between a perilous moment and particles of matter.
There I was, dangling off the back of the COGS group on a 57-mile ride, wondering how I'd gotten myself into that predicament and if I would ever make it back home. I was having a tough day – maybe it was too long of a ride or maybe I started off too fast, but my problem muscles were acting up and tightening down my range of motion, not allowing me to go any faster or climb worth a damn.
I have been on rides in the past where other people were having bad days and I didn't just leave them on the backside of a mountain to perish, but instead, I slowed down and made sure they were on my wheel, pulling them along in my draft. Cycling is a great thing in that it works really well if everyone stays together and shares the work, rather than to scatter everyone out on the same road each expending their own energy. You don't have to wear flowers in your hair to find a communal work effort while riding. All it takes is a steady pace and making sure you aren't going too fast for those behind you.
Lucky for me, Emily remembered my act of kindness, towards her and others. She waited for me, then rode with me, encouragingly. Then she pulled me back to the start where she quickly loaded my bike on her car (her rack only holds one bike so she locked hers up nearby) and drove me home. Dangling no more.