...was this morning. I learned a number of things:
I can ride with these guys. I really wasn't sure going in, and a first look at the group wasn't encouraging. Everyone looked very fit, and everyone had bikes that looked like they'd seen a lot more road miles than mine. I was not among rookie riders. But I stayed with the pace and took my share of pulls, and when people started dropping off the back I wasn't one of them. It was a good workout, though!
There are many intricacies of group riding that I need to learn. I picked up some basics today, like how to ride a paceline and a few hand signals. I still have a lot to learn, though.
Riding in a paceline is a blast! It's amazing how much faster you can go for a given amount of effort when you've got a group of riders working together.
When going out for a club ride, don't believe the published plan for the ride! Once the group had fragmented a bit, the guys I was with decided it'd be fun to add another fifteen or twenty miles to the day. And there I was with one water bottle and no food. It went okay, but by the end I was probably about five miles away from a bigtime hunger bonk. I ate a gigantic plate of spaghetti when I got home! Next time the pockets get loaded with goodies even if the schedule says we're riding around the block.
And, above all, the whole thing was a ton of fun. So now there are the Tuesday night rides, the Thursday night time trials... this could get interesting.