This past Sunday I decided to join the VeloDCity Washington Bicyling Meetup Group for my first ever group ride. I really liked their “No rider left behind” policy and the route sounded easy enough that I could handle. Despite not getting a good night’s sleep the night before I decided that I can’t bail on my first ever ride because then I’d never be invited back. 😉 Anyway, I’m sure that isn’t the case.
So I got up and left the house before 9AM to catch the Metro to the Forest Glen. I barely made it there in time but I guess that’s also because they were running 5 minutes late. Just as I was getting out of the tunnel I see Gregg, our fearless leader, and the rest of the A Group.
The ride was split into 3 legs: A, B, and C. If you wanted to do the A leg you pretty much did 40+ miles. The B group did 26 and the C group did 18. My max miles on one ride before the group ride was 21.4 miles but I felt I could do the B so that is where I met them. At the B stop we had 10 people. We were going at a good clip for me. Apparently, the A group was going at a pretty fast pace. I probably would not have been able to keep up. When we hit the C group we added 8 more including 4 younger children. Now we were 18 strong but also slower because it was such a big group and because of the children. It was really great that they came out though. I love seeing kids taking part like that and also being active. I hope to drag my one-day kids everywhere I possibly can.
The day was absolutely beautiful and the trail was a lot flatter than I am use to. Riding regularly on the W&OD will be good for me with its hills. The ride pretty much ran alongside the creeks in the College Park and Sligo Creek area. There was no humidity, the sun was warm, and highs were in the low 70s. It was cycling heaven! We had lunch at the 94th Squadron Inn and watched the small planes take off and land from neighboring College Park airport. Gregg even pointed out an osprey in a local canal devouring its fish for lunch on the way to the restaurant. I’ve seen osprey before but not one eating.
I have to say that my first group ride experience was absolutely perfect. The people were great, the pace was good for me, the scenery was lovely, and the weather was perfect. I can’t wait for my next one!