Oh yeahhhh, pacelines!


First group ride for the Fort Follies (Photo: Christi Leong)

AHHHH, so excited!  So a week or so ago I saw a post on Facebook from Your Group Ride out of Fort Collins, CO about an all-women’s cycling team that was forming.  What perfect timing, right?  I had been wanting a team to ride with, and make new friends that are into cycling and to learn new things.  I wasn’t able to make their first meeting, but was still welcomed into the group, which is called the Fort Follies. 

This past Saturday the team held a group ride (was suppose to be A/B and beginners, but we all ended up riding together).  Of course I jumped at the chance to go!  Fort Collins is NOT windy like Cheyenne and the weather was suppose to be gorgeous, and I was just so excited to do a group ride!  Though… I would have to face my fear: a paceline.

OK, so going 25mph down a rocky descent on a mountain bike doesn’t phase me (usually).  Riding with a bunch of others on a road bike?  Scares the heck out of me!  Luckily Whitney gave us the basics before we headed out, and we rolled out on a 24 mile ride east out of Fort Collins.

First thing I learned how social these things are!  Instead of my usual solo ride mode of cussing out the wind out loud, and go at full force 100% of the time, I got to ride at a moderate pace and hold conversations with the fellow ladies around me.  Definitely awesome!  And whoa, definitely love how pacelines give you a break from wind (“wind” is more proper… sorry Fort Collins, you ain’t got real wind!).  I was sketched out by the fact I couldn’t see down the road like I use to, but I became more and more comfortable as the miles went on.  By the end I could ride about a foot off of the person in front of me, woo hoo!

And look at that, I finally had a crazy motorist yell something at me while on a bike!  Some cranky old lady yelling something about single file or something… gotta love drivers in Colorado…

I was so giddy when I got done with my ride, it was so exciting to finally hang out with girls that share the same interests as me!  They were doing another group ride on Sunday, so I made the trip down to Fort Collins once again.  This time we rode up by Horsetooth Reservoir.  Ugh, huge climbs!  Which is funny, it totally reminded me of how 6 or so years ago I would drive up that same road in a car and chuckle at the cyclists and say “look at those idiots riding up this!”  Umm, yeahhhhhh… I am now one of those “idiots!”  Whoops, be careful of who or what you mock 😉

The descent was fun, but scary.  I still can’t get use to speed downhill on the road bike, especially with others around.  4 of us then broke off and rode some more roads for a total of 34 miles.  Whew, hard work but once again I felt so giddy!

So I am super happy as I learned some new skills and made new friends!  It is awesome to be surrounded by so many experienced cyclists I can learn from, and have others that can push me, especially on those killer climbs!  This coming weekend there’s more rides planned, so I am looking forward to laying down the miles (85 to 1000 for the year!)!

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