The local club here in town holds various organized rides (DUH!); one such is called the "UORE" (Urban Off-Road Exploring). It's held every Thursday evening, and I was finally able to join in! The ride is open to the public, and the only requirement is a bike and a helmet. (Lights would be good, wish I'd known that a week ago.)
The ride was STUPENDOUS! I saw parts of my hometown I never knew existed! Neighborhoods, trails, a local park that has XC race trails, some purely empty land that has old old OLD jeep roads largely grown over... challenging, fun, a workout! I discovered I was able to scale and descend grades I'd never thought of before!
I'm sitting here in a pile of achy bones, trail rash, and sore muscles, and I will cherish the memory of this evening for a LOONG TIIIIME!