The great thing about riding with a group, besides of course the comradery, is that all you have to do is show up and they drag you around. Riding on my own, I am the only one available to encourage me to work a little harder, lose a little more weight, justify all those meals and beers.
So here is a fast overview of the rides:
Friday, CSBG does not have a scheduled ride but Competative Edge, where I rented my bike, had turned me on to Trish Mayo of Psycho Lists. She had a Claremont ride listed for 7:15 AM and I was there ahead of time. It was almost drizzling. Only Trish showed up in a car and decided to have breakfast with her husband instead of riding with me. I rode a few miles up the first steep slope of Mt Baldi and then home for a total of like 10 miles.
Saturday again was rainy. I road 10 miles to the Psycho Lists start point at Juice cafe. Only one other rider, Charles showed up. I hung with him for a few miles but he was too fast so I rode home alone. About 20 miles total.
Finally Sunday a real Group ride. Psycho Lists dragged me over to Monrovia and back with 20 others. Trish took us up a hill that was so steep I had to get off and walk! Great group and good conversation. We did like 46 miles at 16 MPH average.
Monday was a normal CSBG trip. Lots of hill climbing at La Verne and around Bonelli park. I died on the hills. I did not have to get off but I scared the other riders with all my panting. Probably 20 plus miles. After this ride, Mark at Competative Edge was nice enough to re engineer the bike with a slightly lower gear so my fellow riders were not as worried about my impending medical emergency.
Tuesday was a nice flat 30 miles with CSBG over to Victoria Station and back. CSBG always stops for food. I had a chocolate chip muffin. Tom, an engineer a year older than me, kept me entertained.
Wednesday with CSBG was back to hills and Bonelli park. This time, I was able to take fellow rider Kathy’s advise and just peddle slowly in my new lower gear! This is about a 20 mile course with a breakfast stop when we have only a short flat trip home.
Wednesday night I showed up for a 6:30pm Claremont Cycling Club ride organized by Cecil Smith. Again it was almost raining. Cecil correctly canceled the ride as he had some new riders. I hung around and took off with the pros but had to drop after a couple miles. Too fast and too scary in the dark.
Thursday morning is the CSBG ride up the same lower stretch of Mt Baldi that I had done Friday. I made it Friday, just barely, and now I had my new secret weapon, a lower gear. This ride had special meaning for me as last year it was my first with CSBG. In that premier ride, Kathy paced me up the terrible hill and sent me off to find the rest of the group 10 miles away at Victoria Station. But I was out of luck. My tire was flat back at the house. I changed it and drove over to the Mt Baldi meetup but I had not been able to inflate it and when the other men helped me, the new tube just flatted again. Luckily I had the car to drive home and took the bike to Competative Edge to get it properly fixed.
Friday Trish lead Psycho Lists over to Chino hills. Even with my new gear, I died weaving on the hills but at least I did not have to get off. We went out for donuts in Chino and then I dropped off as we headed home, A little too fast after all the hills!
Saturday Kathy from CSBG showed us some new hills near Cal Polly. I can’t claim I was completely comfortable but getting there.
Sunday it rained and I stayed in bed instead of meeting Cycling Connection over in Rancho Cucamonga. I had first met Kelly Denis and her husband on the week ago Sunday ride to Monrovia and she let me know that she was planning on this one. But it was not to be.
Monday was the last ride. The normal CSBG in Bonelli park and hills before. I skipped the muffin and road home with Kathy.
A great successful week and the major accomplishment, besides learning the importance of a lower gear and non-all-out peddling, I developed connections with groups beyond my 2016 CSBG circle.