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Old 07-02-11, 11:15 PM   #1
nutmegTN
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First group ride was fun

First, it was fun!! I rode with the Cycle Memphis group on their first monthly beginners group ride. There were about 65 people riding, with hardly any spandex in sight. We left at 8pm and went 12.5 miles total to downtown Memphis and the Mississippi River and back. I was really flagging by the last couple of miles, but I made it!

I was so amazed that people all along the route cheered and waved at us. So many people asked what we were doing. Um... riding bikes?

Some things I learned:
Some car drivers are going to yell, honk, and otherwise be rude.
Bring extra water. (Some folks didn't bring any at all.)
When they yell "car back" that means an impatient car is trying to crowd by.
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Old 07-02-11, 11:33 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have a Group that is to your standard. Nothing worse than getting involved with a group that is faster than you when you start out.

That Car back is usefull for new riders. YOU cant always hear the car coming up behind when you are slogging up a hill with all that heavy breathing going on around you. But 65 does seem to be a large group of riders for cars to pass safely so I am not surprised that a few car drivers will make their presence known. Why they have to be rude is another matter though.

Just hope the turn round point involved a suitable break with a cafe and Pie for you to recuperate. If it didn't find another group

Keep us posted on future rides and take the camera next time.
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Old 07-02-11, 11:51 PM   #3
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Glad you enjoyed the ride. With that many cyclists the onlookers must have thought you were either a race or a parade!!

I've learned to rely on my own senses to stay aware of approaching vehicles. "Car back" or at intersections "Car right" or "Car left" is a nice touch to help keep everyone apprised of where the cars are at, but try not to get a false sense of security by relying on those alerts. You'll get a better sense of this all once you get the opportunity to ride in a smaller group.

Fess up now, what kind of after-ride pie did you have?

Looking foreward to reading about your next group ride...and maybe seeing some pictures.
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Old 07-03-11, 05:26 AM   #4
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I'm glad that you had fun. It's nice to get together with people that have the same interest as you and make new friends at the same time. Your group sounds like my Saturday club rides. We do two rides a month (2nd and 3rd Saturday's) and have two groups (club and haul-butt). The club rides are normally between 12 and 18 miles, depending on which route we decide to go. The club group is very casual and goes along at a nice steady pace between 12 and 14 mph (many times slower with new riders) while the haul-butt group does takes a different route and does 25-30 miles at 19-25 mph. I normally ride with the club group because the group atmosphere is much better. We like to ride through residential areas and chit chat as we go and just enjoy the ride. I have ridden with the haul-butt group a few times and they have more of a down-to-business atmosphere. Their ride is OK, but you're always in single file and going at a rate of speed that you hardly get to converse with one another. I can do that type of riding at the MUP.
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Old 07-03-11, 05:34 AM   #5
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Well done nutmeg. On my first ride 16 months ago I was gasping for air at the end of the first quarter mile. Now I ride 30 to 40 miles regularly. Group rides are fun but so is riding on my own at my pace. I also enjoy the 50+ forum which I think of as the cult compound.
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Old 07-03-11, 05:40 AM   #6
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Well done, nutmeg

Do you have a mirror on your bike or helmet? The mirror is great for keeping aware of what is behind you...cars or people. We often ride the roads and usually call "car back" for those who are talking and may not be aware of approaching vehicles.

Enjoy the rides.
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Old 07-03-11, 06:39 AM   #7
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Great nutmeg! I enjoy both club rides and solo rides.
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Old 07-03-11, 07:15 AM   #8
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Glad you enjoyed the experiance, nutmeg. Riding in a novice group ride is great fun, but sometimes unnerving as the experiance is new to most everybody and finishing without a crash is the main goal. As you become more experianced with group riding, the more satisfactory it'll become.

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Old 07-03-11, 07:35 AM   #9
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I headed for home a half-mile before we returned to our starting point so I missed out on the pie, I guess. This ride was at night and it was 10:30pm by then anyway.

Sorry I didn't get photos. Next time when everything is not so new and intimidating.
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Old 07-03-11, 07:47 AM   #10
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Good stuff! 65 riders in a beginner's ride? Wow! That is hard for this small town ride leader to imagine.
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Old 07-03-11, 09:48 AM   #11
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You're off to a great start. I'd hang with this group a bit more.
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Old 07-03-11, 06:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Good stuff! 65 riders in a beginner's ride? Wow! That is hard for this small town ride leader to imagine.
Yes, the organizers, a group called Cycle Memphis, were very pleased at the turnout.

There was even someone at the starting point filming us. Apparently she's doing a documentary on biking in Memphis. I'm looking forward to next month's ride. I won't be so exhausted by the end so I won't miss the pie!
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