Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sharing in the pain -- and pleasure!!

Dave & I enjoy riding along with other cyclists. We like meeting up with others, sharing in good conversation, and oftentimes -- sharing in the pain!

We've especially loved two recent rides we've participated on with the newly formed Connecticut Tandem Club. Those rides were fantastic -- not only because they were well planned routes -- but we had an opportunity to ride with other couples who are also experiencing some of the unique features of tandem riding. One of the most obvious issues happens when we are with fellow cyclists who are on single bikes: They pass by us going uphill and we pass by them going downhill!

Our other favorite group of people we like to ride with are the Thread City Cyclists out of Windham, CT. Joining them does require that Dave & I drive 45 minutes or so to the starting point, but it gives us exposure to other roads and the social connections we cherish.

Because we have my 7-year-old daughter with us on Saturday mornings, we missed a lot of TCC group rides this past summer. My daughter has Sundays with her father, so Dave & I will usually plan a nice long route for ourselves then. This weekend, Doug, a fellow TCC member posted through their email list that he was looking for some company if anyone was free on Sunday and wanted to ride.

Dave & I had just mapped out a 60-ish mile ride for ourselves from our home in Sterling, CT to Mystic. Mystic is a lovely area with many scenic roads by the sea. We invited Doug to join us!

Doug had not been riding for a 3-week period of time due to a back injury. However, we agreed to keep a reasonable pace and take it easy. I hadn't ridden in a week myself, between a few days of straight rain and a lack of free time with my daughter being in my care , so I was happy to agree to the relaxed pace too! The plans were set.

Doug posted our ride to the TCC email list and we had another rider, Dave S. join us too!

The guys met up with us at our home and we departed. The weather was sunny and spectacular. I believe it hit 85 degrees or so (unusual warmth!) and the foliage of October in New England is absolutely gorgeous! We throughly enjoyed this ride from start to finish, and I believe our fellow riders did too -- in spite of their brief instances of self-doubt on the mostly uphill return ride. : )

Dave S. can celebrate having successfully completed his longest ride yet, which made it a century weekend for him -- since he had ridden over 40 miles with TCC riders on that Saturday.  And Doug discovered that even after 3 weeks off from cycling, he was able to tackle 64 miles!! All-in-all, a spectacular and memorable day of  riding!

Dave S. -- still smiling near the end of Sunday's 64 mile ride!

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