A few members of my cycling club have an unofficial ride at 5pm on Wednesdays. Our ride leader crashed on one of these rides a couple weeks ago and broke her collar bone. Since then people have been filling in to lead the ride and yesterday was my turn. Eight of us ranging in age from mid-40's to 66 (that would be me) showed up at my house to ride a route my gf and I do about 2-3 times a month. This ride is 26.5 mi. with approx. 2500 ft. of climbing and she and I usually do it around 14.5 mph. This was my first time leading a ride and I didn't know what to expect. Especially since two new riders (a local couple) showed up and I had no idea of their fitness or ability. As it turned out the group was cohesive and comprised of sociable and competent riders. Staying with some of them on climbs was challenging but since I recover well I was always able to make my way to the front. Some of the riding was "spirited" to say the least but we always managed to hang together and as I rolled into my driveway at the end of the ride I had finished with a 15.78 mph average. By far the fastest time I've ever done on this ride. FWIW I was first home and rushed off to get the biscotti, cheese and crackers out for everyone. A cooler with water and beer was also waiting and pleasant conversation ensued. It turned out to be my best and most fun ride of the season.