Towards the end of 2011, someone started a thread in this sub-forum regarding individual goals for 2012. Mine, as I stated at the time, were, to do a century (100 mile ride), to finish a group ride with the "fast" guys, and to find a decent job (and not necessarily in that order). Well, today I achieved one of those goals.
I rode today with the local cycling club, doing a flat, to rolling, to hilly ride, totaling about 37 miles. And yup, I finished with the "fast" guys. In fact, at about 25 miles into the ride, with some steady uphill riding, I was setting the pace. Any of the other 4 might have been able to overtake me at any time, I don't really know. One of them, for sure, was clearly stronger than me, especially when climbing. I'm not saying these were the fastest guys ever, or even fast by any standards, but at least one of them was a former racer. I've never raced in my life.
I took 33 years off from cycling. I started riding a hybrid in the summer of 2009, and have been serious about road riding for less than a year. I've been working at being a stronger rider. I've gotten some personal help and advice, and I've been trying to absorb as much as possible from this forum. I'd like to thank all of you for the info that you freely and cheerfully provide.
Now, I'm pretty sure I can do the century. I really need to find that job...