Most of my miles on the bike are solo. Alex and I try to ride a couples times a week, and I've been doing a number of organized rides on the weekends, but I'm pretty lonely out on the road. In an effort to enter the cycling social scene, I've decided to start doing at least one club ride a week.
My very first club ride was yesterday. I introduced myself to the tour leader and we set out for Wilshire, Ohio, about 30 miles from the south end of Fort Wayne. I was so tickled to be riding with other folks, that the 21, 22, 23 mph numbers on my speedometer didn't really seem to make sense to me.
After 15 miles, I realized I was sweating much more than normal, so I dropped back to put my sweatband on. When I tried to rejoin the pack, that was the moment I thought I might be in trouble. I did catch them again, but could only hang out at the end, and that was tenuous.
A mile from Wilshire, I dropped off the back, but caught them at the Marathon station in town. The rest there was very welcome, and I ate two granola bars and drank 16 oz of Gatorade. I felt amazingly good when we left, and when we got back to 20 mph, I couldn't think why I ever fell off the back.
After 5 more miles at that speed, I quickly remembered how I was dropped. Louie , who was riding with the group the whole way, dropped back, and that was my out. I didn't want him to have to ride alone, after all.
We rode the rest of the way back at 17 mph, a much more reasonable speed for me. I was glad to ride with the group as long as I did, but I've got to work on my conditioning to get up to the A group speed. Even if I never make it in the A group, it's still good to ride with others.