Organized bike ride

Yesterday, I went on my first organized bike ride of the year. The local Parks & Rec department organizes a couple of these each year in coordination with a local bike shop. There were actually two rides – a longer, 40+ mile ride at a fast pace and a shorter 20-ish mile ride at a moderate to slow pace. Given that this was my first ride in months, I wisely opted for the shorter ride. Before leaving, I almost decided to go out on my own because I felt very unsure of what to wear (the weather was in between hot and cold) and felt a bit weirded out by the fact that I would know no one. However, an acquaintance of mine told me that I needed to meet others doing the things I enjoy. I’m glad that I listened and went on the ride.

We met at The Bike Shop in town around 9:30 for a 10 AM departure. We were scheduled to hit the farmer’s market near my house as one of the last stops, so I just rode to the bike store and would head home from there. Traffic from my house to the bike store isn’t conducive to riding (without a long detour), so thought it was the best route. There were a handful of riders at the store when I arrived and many more showed up as time progressed. There was a chance to meet others before departing and I felt much more comfortable with the wide range of experience in the group. At 10, we departed.

We made a few stops along the way. First stop was a small cupcake shop (that I didn’t know existed) for a bathroom break and to regroup. We restarted a few minutes later for a long stretch that included the long up and back part of the Hartford Marathon course through South Windsor. The Hartford Marathon is next weekend. It’s still on my bucket list but, as I’ve posted previously, is not on my agenda for this year.

So we ended up with about 15 miles of riding in all before I headed home, so about 17 in all for me. While not a long or fast ride, I met some nice people and learned about a group called Casual Bikers which will afford me the opportunity for more rides in the future.

Now if I could just get my left hamstring to quit screaming at me…