Today was my planned long ride. Since it was going to be a beautiful day - sunny and in the 50s - I wanted to get out of the garage, off the trainer, and out on the roads!! My plan was to go to Stone Mountain and get some hill training in!
But then I saw a post on the Witness Through Fitness Facebook page that they were going to do their group ride in a little more than an hour. Could I get there in time? And if I could, did I want to? I've only ridden in a group one time before that - during the One Can Ride back in November! There were actually lots of folks from this group at that ride! But the difference with that day is that I didn't have to walk up alone. My friend, Jill, was there with me! Could I walk up by myself and join them? I decided to give it a try, but I told my hubby that I would text him if I chickened out and went to Stone Mountain instead! LOL
I pulled up to the parking lot where everyone was meeting, and my heart dropped! It was ALL men, with very fancy bikes, wearing very fancy gear. I was considering pulling right back out of the parking lot when I saw a familiar face - the guy who put the bug in my ear about Augusta! (I do know his name now! LOL) I parked and walked up to him and said, "Before I take my bike off the rack, will there be ANYONE that will be going slow enough for me to keep up?" He assured me that there would be, and in fact introduced me to two sets of groups. My pacing was between them, so I decided to stick with the slower group since I was so nervous (aka scared absolutely to DEATH!).
I'm so glad I decided to be a Tough Chik (I wore my jersey to remind me!) and ride with the club today! My group was a husband and wife couple, and a man on a mountain bike, and me! The husband of the couple kept riding back and forth to make sure that we knew where we were going and that we were all OK! We regrouped periodically at the stop signs, and we saw folks from the other paces occasionally! It was so much fun and the time passed so quickly!
Our ride ended up being almost 24 miles according to my Garmin (which I sometimes forgot to turn off and on and the stops) but 25 miles according to their bike computers. I would have done less than 20 miles if I had gone to Stone Mountain! And this route had some really good hills! The time went by so quickly and I had fun talking to the different folks!
The longest route they do is 34ish miles, but that was the fast group. So I think I will plan to do my long distance ride at the Silver Comet Trail still, so I don't lose my base. And then I will ride with this group on the alternate weeks when I am supposed to do hills, instead of going to Stone Mountain all the time! This group will also add a Stone Mountain ride during the week, but it's in the evening and it's not always sure I can get away in the evenings. I'll just have to play it by ear and make the ones that fit into my schedule!
As a side note, I wore my new Smart Wool socks and my feet were nice and toasty warm on the ride! I hope they work as well in even colder weather! :D