PPTC — My first ride

Posted by barb on Jun 12, 2005 in Biking, Pictures |

I made my first ride with the Potomac Pedalers this morning. It was a ride along the Fairfax County’s paved path along Ox Road (aka 123) from the Fairview Elementary School to the Lorton Valley shopping center.

Here we all are at the shopping center:
Potomac Peddlers Ride

A few thoughts on this ride and riding in groups:

  • I found it fun riding with the group because it felt safer — cars seemed to respect us as a group more than they do in ones or twos.
  • It was a bit nerve-wracking riding with a group, though, because I was constantly worrying about watching the signals from the rider in front of me, wondering if I’m close enough/too close to the bike in front of me, wondering if the bike behind me is close enough/too close, worrying that I’m slowing people down.
  • This ride was supposed to be 13 miles (at least that’s what the schedule said), and a “D” level ride, which should keep a pace of no more than 12 mph on flat terrain. However, it ended up being 15 miles and the pace was more like 13-15 mph. I was fine on the way out, but it was generally downhill. However, on the way back, I just couldn’t keep the pace up, so I grabbed Andrew and we had the “sweeper” go on without us.
  • After Andrew and I broke off at our own pace, we were able to stop, go a bit slower for a while, and catch our breath. In fact, we stayed about the same distance behind the group once I caught my breath. We were also able to enjoy our surroundings a bit more — I even spotted a deer off the trail that we likely wouldn’t have seen if we had been busy worrying about the other riders.

Overall I’m not sure how I felt about the ride. I did enjoy being part of a group; however, I was very frustrated that I couldn’t keep up the pace on the second leg of the ride. However, when I found out that “D” rides were supposed to be kept at a bit slower pace, I’m more upset at the leader. I realize that the other riders had no trouble, but if the ride is advertised as a “D”, I expect a “D”. We’re thinking about another ride in two weeks, but, frankly, I’m just not sure…

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