I rode my bike over to Tina's early this morning. We were heading over the bridge to join up with a women's riding group for their 15 mile beginners ride. It was chilly and my face was stiff with cold when I got to Tina's. I'm not too sure about this winter outdoor exercise. I think I'm a fair weather exerciser. :-) We loaded Ruby up on the rack next to Tina's bike and headed out.
We thought we were going to be late and miss the ride, but we made it there with about 10 minutes to spare. After parking along the road side where we thought we saw some women riders gathering, we unloaded our bikes and started to prep ourselves for the ride. Right off the bat we had trouble....Tina forgot her helmet. Doh! We decided to get our bikes ready and then head over. Next item on the list...tire check. Tina was pumping up her tires and I stopped to check mine......and my rear tire was completely flat. What?!?! It was fine when I got to Tina's house, but at some point it went completely flat before we got to the ride. I decided I'd just pump it up and see if it held. So we rode over to the organizer, but it was a no-go without a helmet. But Tina and I could follow along, we just couldn't 'officially' be with the group. I was a little worried about T riding without a helmet, but we decided to give it a go. At this point, I rode back to T's car to get my bike computer and realized my back tire seemed to be leaking and going flat again. So I yelled back to the group (okay, there were 3 other people besides us, so 'group' might not be the right word) that I was going to change the tube. I think the ride leader was getting a little disgusted with us, so T told them to go ahead and we'd do the ride on our own. It was a pretty simple out and back, so I didn't think we'd be getting lost.
Now, I know *how* to change a tire, but it never seems to work out as easy as it should. I must've looked inept because a guy that looked like a pro asked me if I needed help and proceeded to change the tube fairly quickly and painlessly. I *really* need to have a day where I just practice changing the tube. I thanked him profusely and we finally headed out. As we rode off, Tina thought she heard the guy's friend ask him "is she going riding without a helmet?" This seemed to set a theme for the day as it appeared that a lot of folks were giving T weird looks. We decided it was either the missing helmet, or they were admiring how hot Ruby is. :-D
The ride itself was supposed to be a short ride with 'gentle' rollers. They seemed more like hills to me, but then I'm still a newbie rider. The ride leader had told us to make sure and stop at all the stop signs, so we clipped out at each one and made a full stop. We made it to the turn around and were looking for a bathroom and discussing how we should have brought money for the bakery when a 'local' overheard us. He offered to buy us a latte, which we declined but secretly wanted to accept, and then told us about some additional routes that we could check out the next time we came out. He was *really* admiring our bikes and even offered to watch them for us while we used the restroom, but since I didn't have to go I stayed while T went. Good thing because the guy's daughter showed up and off he went. We think he was scamming a way to get 2 new bikes...1 for him and 1 for his daughter. Hahahahahaha!
We rode all 15 miles, although I don't remember our time. It was really just about getting out there on the bikes and that we did. It was a little cool, but we managed. We're talking about doing the Cinderella ride in April, which is a metric century (65 miles). It's technically a fun ride, not a race, so I don't have to feel like I need to ride my socks off. We'll see if we get in, as it's very popular and sells out every year. And that's getting close to the start of Tri season. Man, I gotta start looking at dates for events for next year! :-)