After last week’s rant about giving up on club rides, I got an email from someone who suggested that if I were to lead a B ride, which I hinted at in the post, he and a friend would join in. Since neither of them had been on a club ride before, I was happy to encourage them — so I announced on the club’s group site that I would be leading a B ride to Buda, Texas today.
It’s an easy 30-miler. I figured the ride would attract others who hadn’t been doing club rides. But I wasn’t prepared for the number that came out. We had eight in all. Debra and her husband Russ, who usually ride in Dripping Springs; Jerry, who is really an A-level rider but seems to prefer the laid back approach of the B rides; Barbara, whom I’ve met before when riding with Debra; and the newcomers — Denise, Mike, and Patrick, who instigated the whole thing.
I think we outnumbered the A group this morning. It didn’t matter, because soon after the start, some of us got caught at a stoplight, so the As were able to break away and were soon gone.
We Bs settled into a steady pace, and quickly put down the first several miles. Mike, who rode a hybrid, caught up to me on a wide, smooth downhill.
“Howya doin’?” I asked.
“Fine,” he said. “When we [he and Patrick] ride together, we average about 13. So this is at the outside edge of my ability.”
We were probably averaging about 15 mph.
“But I think that’s always just been a mental barrier, and I think I can crack it today,” he added.
He had no trouble keeping up for the rest of the ride.
We got to Buda (pronounced BYOO-duh), a small town just south of Austin, in about an hour. First stop was a convenience store, where Patrick bought a gallon of cold water and refilled everyone’s water bottles. But the convenience store offered no shelter from the bright sun, so we headed back a few blocks to the town’s gazebo, in a little park along Main Street.
Bikers are common in Buda on weekends, because it’s either a destination or a pass-through on several area bike routes. The gazebo is popular among more than bikers, though. We knew it was time to leave when a bride walked up to have her picture taken.
The route back was equally uneventful. No flats, no mechanicals, no dogs (although one of our club members suffered mild injuries when a dog went after him on this route the previous day). As we worked our way back into Austin, Patrick and Mike peeled off from the group when we got to their neighborhood. We hope to see them again on future rides. The remainder made it back to our starting place, and several of us stuck around for brunch and chatter.
We didn’t set any speed records — I wound up with a 14.9 mph average — but we had a ride that everyone seemed to like, and most said they’d like to do things like this again. I’ll bet we do.