Today's ride wasn't what I thought it'd be. In fact, putting it into words isn't a simple thing. "Bad" is an understatement but "horrible" is too strong. It simply wasn't good at all.
I was signed up for the 65 mile ride and was completely stoked about it. I woke up early, had some oatmeal, got everything together and headed to the Deephaven Education Center (DEC) to drop off my bike and participate in the pre-ride festivities. All was well at this point. The people really set up a good show at the beginning and they were a joy to talk to. I even met up with a fellow I met running around Lake Calhoun: Teeto. It was good to see him again and we talked about our running experiences and upcoming goals.
As the start time drew near I met some other cool people. One of them was a pastor at a church just down the road. He seemed like a quality guy and it was a treat to hear from him about his church and congregation. Maybe one of these Sundays I'll make it out to the church for a service to see what it's really all about.
With one minute before the ride, it all went down hill. The weather turned on us and it got cold and rainy. None of you probably know this but a little known fact about me is that I break out in hives when I get cold. It's nothing serious. Mostly it's just not a pleasant thing to look at. But it's really annoying. Plus, one thing I do think most people know about me is I have a deep dislike for being cold. So my mood went immediately from "This is going to be great" to "screw this." At 17 miles into the ride, I have hives all over my torso and arms, couldn't see from all the water dripping on my lenses from my helmet, and my feet were impossibly drenched. All this, compounded with my complete lack of motivation by this point, made me drop out of the 65 mile ride and do the 33 mile ride. I'm not proud of it but the only valid rationale I have is it was a decision to avoid getting sick. I've put in too much time to be out of commission from the rest of my training.
After pulling in to the finish area and going back to my car I did meet a very nice woman. She invited me to do rides and other events with the Twin Cites Tri Club. It'd be nice to see her at one of these events. She seems like a very decent woman to get to know.
So, in short, my first group bike ride turned out to be borderline nightmareish. I guess there's always a next time.