Friday, May 8, 2009

First Ladies' Group Ride

First of all, I picked up my road bike from the shop last night, and I'M SO HAPPY TO HAVE IT BACK! (Yes, I meant to make that all caps!) The bike shop did a great job. All the new parts look shiny and are working smoothly. They even did the bar tape for me. Now all I have to do is make an attempt at putting a new tire on the rear wheel. At some point. Right now, all I want to do is ride.

Last night, I also attended the first of this year's weekly women's group rides. My first group ride ever. It was awesome! I had so much fun. There were about 20 women, all on road bikes with bike shorts, jerseys and clipless pedals. I'm glad I had my road bike back. My mountain bike would have been painfully slow. I also picked up a jersey in a highly visible yellow color the other day, so I wore that. One of the women said she could see me a half mile ahead. Nice. Here's me beaming after the ride on my resurrected bike.

Riding with a group for the first time was very educational. I learned not to draft too close when going up a hill. I learned verbal signals like "car up" and "car back" and hand signals for stopping and pointing out obstacles in the pavement.

I enjoyed meeting a group of women who is interested in and good at road biking. It was so cool to feel like a part of that community. To know that there are other's in my city that like what I like. To feel like I fit in. A few of the women were riders for local race teams. I felt so proud keeping up with "elite" riders like that, even though this was probably an easy ride for them. Here are a few of the women getting ready to go to a sandwich shop after the ride. A couple of them rode the orange and red tandem that you can partly see leaning against the truck. How fun!

The route was a hilly 25 miles around the Ada, MI area (here's the route map). I really enjoyed a particularly long stretch of downhill on which I reached about 33 miles per hour - my personal fastest. I also confirmed that I'm not a climber. I make it up the hills just fine...but I'm not fast. I often got behind another rider on a long hill and then caught up again after.

One really cool moment for me was when the group stopped at an intersection to let everyone catch up. When we took off together, it was funny and wonderful to hear the clickity clack of 20 cleats simultaneously locking into pedals. It was like bike popcorn!

I will be looking forward to Thursday night all next week! I can't wait to go again!


  1. Wow, sounds like an excellent ride! I'm glad you got your road bike back and it's like new.

    And the spaces have to do with some HTML stuff that gets automatically inserted when I insert pics too. I went to a website that I think is called HTML for the Conceptually Challenged or something like that. It has to do with thingies that look like div with a < and a > and sometimes a / inside. They go after a paragraph and before but I forget which order. When you write the blog, check out the HTML option and you'll see it. I had to experiment on a few posts myself.

  2. That sounds so fun! We need a ladies' ride in Nashville.

  3. You’ve found a checkpoint for the 2nd Virtual Alleycat.
    Contest details at

    Check in here, take a look around and race to the next checkpoint.

    Next Checkpoint: Visit and find the "News" section for the next checkpoint.

  4. i checked in at at the first point, now i'll check into the second. ;)

  5. Dudeonabike says: Is that a yellow jersey I just got thrown......uh, oh, road ahead looks slippery--may have to slow down due to work (again). (Checkpoint)

  6. Hey, my blog is a checkpoint. How cool is that?!

  7. Check!

    Keep up the good work, Missy. Too many pricks in cycling nowadays, especially in the more competitive sectors.

    Keep showing them that chicks can ride, too.

  8. check!

    Don't assume you're not a climber - if you are new to riding, it takes a while to get into the groove of it so that standing up feels natural, and knowing when to stand.