In order to do these more 'social' rides, I begrudgingly joined a facebook group but until today was reluctant (nervous) to go on one of the group rides. This morning, however, seemed like the perfect opportunity - a nice loop that was fairly close to home and great weather. What was I waiting for? But, when I woke up this morning, I admit that I seriously thought about putting my head in the sand or going out on a solo ride, but I managed to motivate myself and arrived just as everyone was leaving. I confessed my nervousness in the leader who did reassure me, saying "It's a ride, not a race".
And what a ride it was! I am pretty psyched that I joined the group for it because it was about 35 miles for me (adding a mile or two on the way to meet the group and then one or two to ride home), but it took us on a nice long climb for many miles, and then we flew down the Angeles Crest Highway, a road on which I'm beginning to feel comfortable, especially on the descent! I was able to enjoy some of the scenery on the ascent, when I wasn't huffing, puffing and cursing myself and the climb, and I discovered, again, that I don't totally suck, in particular when I'm climbing. I certainly didn't ride with group A, but I was a strong member of group B. Cheers to that!
It definitely made me appreciate the group leaders who took time to ride with us slowpokes, and one in particular rode with me when I was so close to one of the many 'summits' (I felt that there were many!) but slowing way down! I am also questioning my plan/desire for a new bike. A few of the other people in group B had much nicer bikes than I but it didn't seem to matter that much? Not only in terms of how I performed on the bike, but no one made fun of me because I have a violet-colored bike with flowers on it. Big relief there.
I did feel quite awkward socially on occasion, and I would like to blame it on feeling shy and new and nervous and also fatigued from the climbs. The cycling/tri crowd still intimidates me, but I'm working on it. Hopefully I didn't sound like a total dingbat.
On a final note, I thought about running after the ride, but when I got home, my legs were pretty shot. Good call on not running because I hopped in the shower and then I totally bonked. Kind of crazy - I've never had the experience when I felt nauseous and could barely stand after a longish workout. Michael was awesome and cooked up some eggs and toast to revive me. Voilá - I soon bounced back enough to walk to the yogurt place for an afternoon snack. That was, of course, after a nice nap - just what I needed! It did, however, make me pause. Obviously I need to focus more on how I fuel myself. Speaking of which, Mexican food tonight? Please, thank you!