As I have had such a fun time with charity rides, I have been actively looking for more. Two people I know are doing the Mamma Jamma Ride Against Breast Cancer, which is a one day charity ride in October. I have a few problems with it- first the name is stupid. Second it's two weeks before Longhorn, and I don't want to compromise Longhorn. Third, it's on a Saturday, and I have already requested the previous Saturday off, so I'm not entirely sure I can get this one off. Fourth, it's a $500 minimum fundraising fee, which is a little high for my plan of just donating the money myself for charity rides instead of having to ask other people.
So with all of those factors, one thing in this ride's favor is they have training rides every weekend, alternating Saturdays and Sundays, which is really nice. So I went down this morning, planning on doing the 15 mile instead of the 30 mile, which were the two options. There were about 40 people riding, with two SAG vehicles. They had maps, leaders, sweepers, and SAG cell phone numbers provided. So it sounds like it should be really organized. But with a ton of complete newbies, and leaving from Mellow Johnny's downtown meant lots of stoplights and stopsigns and turns, which split up the group. And because they want to keep everyone together there is a lot of stopping and starting and waiting. And with all the newbies, it was pretty nerve-wracking to try to anticipate people doing unexpected things.
When we finally get some clear road out east on Pleasant Valley and on to Oltorf, there are some big ass hills, which just trashes the newbies. I, however slow, have not had to get off my bike and walk in probably six months now. It's a point of honor, even though I know there are hills that will make me walk in the future. And it was amazing to me to ride past all these women and men that have gotten off their bikes to walk them up. I am fit. I do have muscles. I have made progress from my first road ride with TNT where I had to get off on Spicewood and thought I was going to vomit my lungs out of my chest. Being able to ride up, even at only 3 mph, was a great feeling. Almost great enough to push me to go the 30, but I resisted, or rather, my quads were shouting "hell no!" So a good mostly downhill ride back to Mellow Johnny's and then home for the stretch, shower, and nap. I'm still not sure about doing the ride, but I am pretty sure I'll come back for more training rides.