I have never done a group ride. Except for the times I have gone for slow rambles with my wife, I have always ridden solo. I ride in T-shirts, cutoff and sneakers on vintage steel (the most I have ever paid for a bike is $70), so I definitely come across as the ol' grey-bearded phart that I am (I'm 56), instead of a studly young fashion plate mounted on a cutting edge, 12 lb wonder. Still, I am curious and I have been wondering what are the pros and cons of group rides. The husband (he is 59) of a co-worker experienced a bad crash on a group ride and got out of biking completely; I do NOT want to do that. I have read a few threads in various forums that have described "hammerfests", cliches, and sundry negative vibes projected to newbies, so my first impression is that it may not be for me. But part of me would like the camradery (sp?) that I expect would be part and parcel of riding with like-minded souls. Am I missing out on anything? What is the good, the bad and the ugly here? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks.