With the jump to DST all the group rides in my area started up. last year I tried doing rides with a MS150 "team" I was on, but it was mostly composed of air force people so they were scattered and most of our rides had 3-4 people.
This year I decided I better start early because more than any fitness issues I am pretty shy (hence communicating to people anonymously online ). Though I am pretty fit I am
a: bigger than most roadies (225lbs)
b: younger than most roadies (24 yo)
c: less rich (I make a fine salary, but due to the aforementioned age i don't make as much as the old guys)
d: all these things make me more self conscious than i already am about being shy and not fitting in.
So I go ahead and find a ride that fits me fairly well (B/B+ ride 18-20) and email the guy. He seems nice and gets back to me and says they start the 11th blah blah blah...
So I go ahead and get there like 50 minutes early (the year before i tried to get to one and they left as I pulled in, but that was a different ride) and sit and wait.
the first guy pulls up. BMW (see point c), gray hair (see b) and skinny as a rail (see a) all this led to shyness and I muttered "is this where the ride is" and got a pretty gruff "yeah".
so other start pulling up and getting ready...it becomes very evident that I own a 12 year old buick...sitting next to the Audi, Volvo, 2x BMW, pathfinder, etc. I have the only non full carbon bike (except for a Ti seven and litespeed), and that I am at least 10 years younger than anyone there...but at least the ride leader was heavyset .
anyway despite my fears about everything it went well and the leader reminded me about the B+/A Monday ride (which I took as a good sign) and I lived to tell the tale (22 miles in 1:07) if anyone else wants to do these rides my advice is don't be shy...it makes riding alot easier and less akward
funny story of the ride: someone gets a flat but waves us on with about 5 miles left (i was close to the front at this point) while in front people are pulling off and going home (the ones that rode to the ride) i finished my pull and drifted back only to find that my 13 or so person paceline became 7. As I expected 6 more riders I had slowed too much and a huge gap formed as they chugged away uphill at 22MPH long story short I almost died bridging up to them but luckily that was basically the end of the ride.
btw every ride I have been to underestimates its speed. I think it is the sadistic nature of roadies that like to lure in people to their rides than crush their spirts hehe, be mindfull on the higher level ride of this happening (I think this ride said strict limit of 21mph and while it was very flat my max speed was 30)
very very small hill...more of a gradual incline, but at that point i was cooked and slightly off that back. it is south jersey we don't do elevation here, the same group actually heads over to PA for their hill rides because there is so little near us.
2009 Cannondale Caad9-7/2009 BMC SLX01/2011 Marin Nail Trail 29er
I so understand the shyness part, I can hang with a 18-20mph group ride. I get a little timid though and it is because of my own issues. Once I ride with a group though and show i can hang everyone is so friendly I can't help but have a great time and feel very welcomed.