Sunday, November 4, 2012


Yesterday, I went to tackle the 19 mile bike ride.  Before the ride, I e-mailed the leader about how fast, how steep, their average speed and if they will have a sweep.

Of course, they always say things in a positive direction.  She didn't know how fast they rode, which gave me some concern, but she did say they did stop to regroup, there was a slow group and a faster group and just a few smaller type hills.

OK, I wrote back, I'll see you there.

And that I did.  There were about 15 people all dressed for the chilly morning.  The people were nice enough and they pointed out the sweep.

We started off OK.  This was part of the bike path I had done and I was the second one in front.  And then that's where I started hanging back.  We were going between eight and ten miles per hour.  OK, a bit too fast at times, but that was OK.

After completing the part of the bike path I had done, we regrouped and went along a street with a little traffic.  Suddenly, some people in front of me went left and people in back of me went right.  I shouted out, "which way!"  No one heard me, so I went left.  That group was going on a dirt road.  Suddenly someone shouted out, "This way, they're going on a dirt path way."  Here I was in the middle of an intersection with a few cars stopped at stop signs.  I was nervous and not having fun.  I carefully tried to make a circle and join the group on the paved way of the ride.  Some people waited for me and we continued on. 

It was starring me in the face.  A large hill.  I put my bike in the lowest gear I had and trudged up the hill very slowly, but did make it up.  Again, a flat part came about for a short time until another hill stared me in the face.  After these two hills and one on the beginning part of the bike path, it got me thinking I have to climb these again coming back, so they said.  So I turned back.  I even had to walk the last hill with my bike because I just didn't have it in me any more.  But when I arrived at the end part of the bike path to go back to my car I was completely OK because I was going at my comfortable speed without worrying I had to keep up with a group.  A lady had turned around with me to see I made it to the end of the bike path.  I told her she didn't have to because I knew I wouldn't get lost just staying on that same road, but she refused and continued on with me walking that last hill.

All in all, I should know now not to go with a group here in the foothills because there are sudden hills I just don't know about up here yet. 

I guess I'll stick to biking with a group down in the valley where I know a particular group is easy enough for me to keep up.

There were two girls having problems on this trip.  One with a flat tire, which the sweep evidently went back to her car with her because I never did see the sweep on the way back.  Another girl had trouble with her chain.  I'm sure there were more problems along the way on that trip because there was a lot of stress, I'm sure, on these bikes with these steep hills.

I just need, again, more time on my bike with hills, speed and distance.  Maybe then I'll be back to where I was many years ago and feel more at ease when with a more advanced group.

My stats were:

7.29 mis. distance
22.1 maximum speed
9.5 average speed
45:45 minutes
214.3 calories burned
14.5 fat calories burned

This was with three pretty steep hills both ways.  One which I walked.

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