Monday, November 12, 2007

Riding Buddies

I went on three rides (other than my daily commute) last week and the best part of all three rides was getting to ride with other people.

Wednesday was the first Big Creek Night Ride. 24 guys (unfortunately no women) showed up for a couple of laps around the Big Creek trails. All kinds of riders showed up including first time night riders, a pair of 9 year olds, pro roadies, and plain ole weekend warriors like me.

Once we rolled out of the parking lot, I tried to settle in to what I thought was the social pack. I still ended up riding pretty much at my limit all night though. Even at my limit I was the last one in line. I tried to tell myself that I was doing everyone a favor by making sure no one got lost. I stopped several times to give people moral support while they fixed their chain or shed some clothes. :)

Saturday Amy and I rode our tandem link around Bull Mountain. We started in the Jake mountain parking lot and rode the connector trail to 28, went up 83, stayed straight on the forest road past the turn off to Bull Mountain and Jones Ridge. We took the single track connector to the end of the Whoop-De-Doo trail. Then rode 77-A to 77 back to 28. From 28 we took the pavement back to the Jake Mountain Lot. Our loop was around 11.5 miles.

The leaves were really colorful on Saturday. I wished I would have remembered to bring my camera. We saw also lots of beautiful horses. We were careful to get off our bikes and let them pass, however one of them got a little spooked when the rider stopped and asked me for directions. Maybe the horse was just itchin to get riding again. Amy rode strong all day. I barely got to do any pulling.

Sunday I rode with Amy and Bubba. We went to a new park the city of Kennesaw is building right across from Bubba's house. I think the name of the park is Swift-Cantrell. Right now there is a 1 mile paved loop with a couple of connector paths as well. We rode the loop in a bunch of different variations.

While Bubba was taking a nature break, he found an old basketball in a ditch in the woods. We ended up using the basketball to play hide and seek. One person would go off on their bicycle with the basketball and hide the ball somewhere. Then the other people would ride their bikes around and try to find it. It was a lot of fun.

This week I thought a lot about my training last year and how I would ride 6 hours at a time by myself on trails I have ridden a hundred times. I think I have decided for me it is so much better to ride with other people. Even being the slowest guy in the pack is still much better than riding every ride by myself. I was very lucky to share those rides last week with other people.

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