Just kind of an anecdoctal thing that happened last night..
We just got a buddy of mine his first real bike, and he's been wanting to ride with my little posse and I for awhile. Well, we went for our monday evening trail ride and we let him take lead to make sure that he wouldn't be left behind the pack. We kept a decent pace the entire time, about 10-15mph. He found a side road and had a "ooh, I wonder whats down that road!" moment. Well, he didn't realize we were on top of a massive hill, and after an extremely fast downhill ride, we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere, pretty far away from any familiar landmarks. We tried our best to use the moon to orient ourselves and we knew we were about 15 miles out of town along a country access road. The hill was WAY too steep to go back up considering we'd been riding for awhile, and it was an absolutely MASSIVE hill. So, we kept going.
Luckily after about an hour we came accross a familiar road, and were able to zigzag through roads until we eventually got back to familiar territory. Total distance ridden? 37 miles. Calories burnt? 2614. Lesson learned? Never let the newbie take point.