alright, so a forum member madcyclist turned me on to some group rides in reston and i figured that I'll tag along and get some experiance (never ridden in a group bigger than 4). The rides were labeled AA, A, BB, B and C, and I signed up for B thinking I'll fit right in. As the time was approaching to get started the leader spouted that there were only A and B rides tonight. we left soon after and there was talk about people being "lazy" and "sandbagging". I didnt really take listen to any of it. One cyclist even jested that he would sprint up all the hills to make up for being in the B ride. the ride started and for the first 5 miles doing 20mph was nice, but a little fast, i soon went from the front of the group to the back my goal was then changed to just staying with the group. The pace contiuned and the same people i heard sprinted right up those hills.
I learned a lot, like how hard it is to catch a group alone. Its much easier with another person or two (learned this too). Being in the back, i helped the people with thrown chains rejoin the pack and one person even thanked me. As the ride was finishing up my chain falls off and i try to fix it. I look up and the group is gone. I wip out the trusty cue sheet and eventually catch up with some people that had decided to go another route.
throughout I had my computer set for time only and when it was all done, 28.99 miles at a whopping 20.1 mph!!! I have now renamed the people that led the group to the "reston rockets!" All and all, though all the hills, attacking, pack riding, i had a great time and am thinking I'll do it again thursday