Ok... So I know I'm a few days behind on my posting, and I'll be trying to catch up and be a bit more current... but a few days ago I decided to go ahead and dive in to a Wednesday Night Group ride for the first time in a million years and figured I'd jot down some thoughts.
I decided to ride in to Turlock so that when I got dropped I could just make my return directly home rather than having to return in to Turlock to get my truck. I knew I would get dropped at some point because I knew my fitness level was nowhere near what it needs to be to stay with the group.
The ride starts at Cycle Masters in Turlock (see my Favorite Shop here) and goes out through town to Keyes Rd, then up to Hawkins Rd. and right on Lake on out towards Turlock Lake. My hope was to make it to the end of Hawkins Rd. and then to just turn Left down Lake back towards home. I must say I was humbled a bit in that I didn't even make it to Hawkins Rd. with the group. I felt good but was quickly dropped when the pace was picked up. Much of it had to do with the fact that I was caught out in the wind due to my complete lack of comfort riding in a pack of riders. I went ahead and turned Left down Lake (rather than turning around and heading back down Hawkins, like many of the other riders do) because I knew that I could get some water etc. at the Hickman Store. Turning back down Hawkins leaves you out where there's no where to top off on water. And considering the fact that when I left my house (on the start of my ride) it was over 100 degrees, I wasn't taking any chances (been there, done that, see here)
All in all though it was a good experience. It was good getting back in to a fairly big group of riders, even though I wasn't all that comfortable with it... but that will come with time. Now at least I have another gauge of where I'm at, and know some more things I need to improve on. I'll definitely be making myself a regular on Wednesday night from now on, because it's a great way to get back to feeling good close to other riders. My goal will continue to be: Make it to the end of Hawkins Rd. with the group. When I accomplish it, we'll see where the goals will get set from there.