We have ridden with groups of riders at bike events, but we've never done it in a formal way. We just tagged along for a mile or two then went off on our own. Which meant that for all intents and purposes we were clueless about manners and protocol for this sort of thing. So this morning we rode south four miles to the old Miami City Hall to our first Everglades Bicycle Club group ride. I was as nervous as a little kid heading to the first day at a new school. I didn't know what I would do, but I was certain I would embarrass myself. Al thought this was funny, but he didn't push the point. We all like to think we're at least as good as the next guy. My vice is the fear of showing myself to be far below average in a very public way.
|The group ride start is on Biscayne Bay at the old Miami City Hall.|
The groups were riding the same route to Deering Estate where we all made a rest stop. Our group turned around and returned to City Hall. The other groups continued south to Homestead Bayfront Park. At the rest stop at Deering Estate we came upon a comical scene. A dad was staging a video event with his little girl, who was beyond thrilled that her dad was helping her put the whole thing together. Remember the Peanuts cartoon with Lucy selling advice for a nickle? Here's the stand they had going:
Our group went to Lulu's in Coconut Grove for breakfast before ending the ride. I was feeling pretty good. I had only caused two almost crashes. Since it was just twice and just an almost crash, I felt my maiden group ride was a success. By the end of the ride I was pointing out road hazards, signaling slowing and stops, and generally performing fairly adequately. We had guessed right about the group. They were very tolerant of my mistakes, and nobody screamed at me even once. Success!
Our Saturday mornings will be Everglades Bike Club group rides from now on. (Sweet.)