|My son gave the giraffes and ostriches two thumbs up, |
but my daughter's smile says she loves them too.
I haven't done a lot of group bike rides. First, I kind of like going on my own in some ways because then I don't have to feel bad for holding people up. I don't have to worry about getting lost because I map out my own way and tend to stay either close to home or on roads I know well. And I don't constantly end up staring at others' behinds. On the flip side, I don't tend to go on roads I don't know well (which can get tediously boring). I don't have anyone there to help if I need them to (or act as a witness - I have some deep fears about cars smacking me off the pavement). And I don't have the company that can sometimes make boring sections more tolerable or to commiserate over the painful parts.
But stars aligned today and a group ride with the Columbia Multisport Club that I joined last summer was going to be comparatively close to me (15 min away instead of 40). My husband was taking the kids squirrel hunting down at the farm leaving me FREE to go. It was going to start and stop at a winery across the river and take a route that had a good mixture of flat and rolling terrain. The route was 29 miles on pretty decent pavement for Callaway County - ie. NO GRAVEL. Geez, I wasn't ready to tackle that again. I knew the general area and figured it would be a nice workout followed by some great lunch and chatting.
There were two routes - one that took you up more towards Fulton and was 60ish miles and one that stayed more around Holts Summit and Tebbetts that was just under 30. The first route left earlier in the morning so we'd all finish around the same time. We left at 10 and, as I suspected, I was bringing up the rear (or hanging with someone that was tolerant of my pace) the whole way. My knowledge of the area helped the lady that hung with me til the end get back so I hoped my navigation offset the speed (though she is nursing a hamstring injury and didn't want to push the pace too much). I still pedaled hard (for me) to keep close to the 13 mph average.
It took me about 2 hr 13 min. Not too awful for my 2nd longest ride ever. They didn't stop much - although usually I would just catch up to them and they'd take off again at the major turns in the route. Paula (lady that I rode the 2nd half alone with) stopped once and I stopped to see why and proceeded to fall over clipped in (almost into the path of a truck) - leaving a nasty little burning cut and what later turned into a nice purple bruise on my knee. Not even sure what I hit (as the bruise is on the inside of my knee)...Grrr....I stopped one more time towards the end at a busier intersection after a long hill to catch my breath and get a drink before navigating the turn and another oncoming long hill. Picked up a shiny dime in the dirt there too. I was up for whatever luck fate could bring.
Got back and a lot of the longer riders were filtering in there too. A couple of guys I had talked to early on were getting ready to leave as one had a pretty good gash on his leg. They are more "local" to me and I gave them my card to try to set up another time to ride. Turned out we knew a few people in common which shouldn't surprise me since the dad was an engineer and the son was an engineering student. I got a text from the dad later with his contact info and a request to do an east end ride soon. So score on that. Though I think I'd enjoy the smaller groups.
There was a lot of wind on the ride (suckitude), but that made for a nice breeze sitting on the patio at the winery on top of a big bluff. Some people were actually kind of cool putting on arm warmers or light sweatshirts. I was fine in the warm sun. I snarfed up a chicken wrap with this incredible artichoke dip rolled up in it plus a small bowl of cucumber/onion salad - YUM!. I passed on the wine as my tolerance lately has gone to crap now that I rarely drink at all. I still had to drive home and do laundry after all. Hung out and chatted though didn't get as many of the names as I had hoped. Many acted like they knew each other well and I felt a bit of an outsider (thus why smaller groups are sometimes a bit more fun). By the time everyone rolled in (and I think only a couple had left), I snapped a pic for the blog:
|Gorgeous day at Summit Lake Winery, Holts Summit, MO with CMC crew|