Hey folks, I just bought my first bike in 12 or so years about six weeks ago. Here's my introduction post if you need the background I'm a big girl who is becoming less of one - down about 20 pounds so far!
Somehow in July I got it in my head I wanted to do a group ride so I signed up for one this weekend, an 8-mile group ride in Richmond, VA. My boyfriend is doing the same ride but taking the 17-mile course. It's not a race officially; there are separate waves for hardcore, casual, family riders, etc. so I'm not too worried about the time necessarily, but I am a little worried about the group dynamics, as well as just plain being able to finish.
My friend will be riding with me. She has only been riding for a few months as well, but she's a normal weight - much, much smaller than me. I talked to her about my nervousness and she said she plans to stick with me and take it easy, but my concern is that for most people, their "taking it easy" is my "extremely freaking difficult." My boyfriend and I have been riding about 3x per week and I've only gotten up to just over 6 miles in about 40-45 minutes with a break somewhere in there. There's a rest stop on the course but not until almost 5 miles in. I'm worried that the whole time I'm riding I'll be anxious over holding her back, maybe needing to rest but not wanting to make her stop, etc.
I'm also worried about riding in a group for the first time. The course is closed to traffic but there are a lot of riders. People will be passing me, riding close by, etc. I'm nervous about getting tangled up, overcorrecting, overbreaking, falling, etc.
I'm REALLY going to miss my boyfriend during the ride. I don't want him to ride with me as it's not enjoyable for him to go so slowly, but when we do ride together he encourages me and keeps me going when I feel tired.
My "couch potato fat girl failure" mentality is getting in the way of believing that I can be successful at this ride. My anxiety is running laps inside my body and I can feel myself getting so keyed up already even though it's more than 48 hours away! I hope that once I get through I can look back and laugh at how silly I'm being, but for right now does anyone have any tips or encouragement I can keep in mind during the ride?