Today I cycled in my first organized bike ride. I’ve cycled for the past few years but haven’t ventured to one of these road rides. I ride mostly on trails and was leery of riding on the road. I must admit that road cyclists intimidate me with their speed that I know I can not match.
I chose Eddy’s Bike Shop Sweet Corn Ride in Richfield as my first road ride. It was close to home, had great support, a good reputation and several routes. I chose the 25 mile route. I was debating on the 50 mile but decided to play it safe for my first time on the road with a large group.
This morning I set out under cloudy skies and lower temps due to the cold front that roared through last night. It turned to a sprinkle as I arrived. Registration was quick and organized. I met up with Susan, Christine and Vanessa; fellow cyclists in our Spin-offs Cycling Club.
As we headed out, the sprinkles turned to a slow steady rain. It was no big deal. We cycled several miles through lovely neighborhoods of McMansions in Richfield. We did some country riding before taking a whirl through Brecksville.
Our mid-ride rest stop was on the edge of Brecksville in a small park. Giant Eagle sponsored the stop that had plenty of fruit, cereal bars, cookies, Gatorade and water. The rain really picked up at the rest stop. After about 15 minutes we set back out under an even harder rain.
We cycled south along the edge of Richfield and into Medina Country. Following Bath Road we entered Bath and cycled through and north out onto Cleveland Massillon Road. Wheatley Road took us back into Richfield where we enjoyed a pretty good lunch and free sweet corn.
I was pretty proud of myself on this ride. We had a few killer hills and 3-4 long steady hills. I cycled up the hills with no effort and did not have to walk my bike at all. I found this type of ride enjoyable and know I want to do more of it. I always seem to underestimate my abilities. I kept up with many of the road cyclists, passed some on hills and kept a steady pace. After 28 miles (the 25 mile ride was actually longer), I was not tired at all.
This was excellent training for my Pedal to the Point 150 mile 2-day ride in mid August. I think I have a pretty good chance of making it. I learned a lot. The road doesn’t intimidate me. Other riders do not intimidate me. The distance does not intimidate me. I am ready to ride that 150 miles. Now for my shameless plug… If you haven’t donated to MS through me, please consider doing it today. Here is a link to the donation form.
I agree the Sweet Corn Challenge is a great ride. I rode with my daughter and boyfriend on the 50 mile route this year. Not the best weather, but I'll take the rain and cooler temperatures over the 90+ days leading up to the ride.
If you are interested in organized and social riding in the Akron area, check out the ride calendar for Akron Bicycle Club — http://www.akronbike.org/. There are rides nearly every day of the week. This is the group that I found that made me comfortable with riding on the road. Thursday evenings in the valley is the popular event every week with options for every one – fast road with hills, intermediate road, social road, and towpath biking plus towpath walking and running for those. Come join us! No membership required and it's free to ride… The only requirements are an approved helmet and a smile!