My first group ride that wasn’t

So, Scott invited me to go on a group ride at TrySports last night. I’d been a little scared to try these – I’m still pretty slow and even keeping up with their slow group could possibly be a challenge. But after the Ride of Silence I was pretty excited about getting to that point of riding with a  group. I’m only sorta counting the Ride of Silence as a group ride – because it was a tribute, it was a slower pace. For most of that group it wasn’t a workout (was a normal pace for me, though …)

The ride was about 20 miles, and it was at TrySports, which is 7 miles away from my house. So I hopped on the bike – by myself for the first time in months – and got to it. The route I take is all right turns except for one, so it’s a fairly simple ride.

I left a few minutes later than I’d planned, so I stepped on it on the bike. And although my average pace was still pretty slow in a cyclist’s world, it was faster than I’d been doing. I’m used to riding around 4 minute miles if I step on it, and yesterday my fastest mile was 3:04. I practiced not braking on the downhills and that worked out pretty well.

I only had one incident involving a motorist – a Stanley Steemer van passed me and a guy leaned out the passenger side and yelled at me to ride on the sidewalk. Silly man, don’t you know sidewalks are for pedestrians? (For the record, I Twittered to and emailed the company to let them know of the incident.)

I made it 5 miles easily, turned right onto Ardrey Kell, the road that TrySports is located on, and then the sky opened up. Not just rain – but a downpour. I was instantly soaked. I couldn’t see in front of me because the rain was splattering onto my face. I was concerned about slippery roads – both for me and for the motorists. Luckily there’s a really wide shoulder on that road, so I just kept it slow and steady and tried to make sure I was giving cars plenty of reaction time in case someone pulled out in front of me. My last mile was super slow (I was sitting at a stoplight for quite a while, so that’s partially my excuse).

I figured the group ride was canceled at that point, but I was closer to TrySports than home, and I knew Scott would give me a ride home. So I made the last two miles in the downpour and then showed up at the store – and to my surprise, there were lots of cyclists getting ready for their ride! I found two of Scott’s friends and asked them if they were still going. There was some wavering – we were gonna go, then not gonna go, then gonna go … and in the end, safety won out and we bailed.

Scott showed up just after everyone left and was shocked the ride still happened. I’m thinking I made the right call! So we called Jeff and had him meet us at Brixx where we had beer and pizzas. And decided that should be a weekly tradition after the rides – hopefully next time, there will be an actual ride.



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