DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

First Training Ride with the group...

I arrived at the Green Road Park at about 9:15 for the 9:30 demo on how to change flat tires. Only one person was there, a real nice, cute guy named Gordon, who shortly into the conversation mentioned his girlfriend.

At about 9:40, the guys who did the demo arrived, and at about 9:50, they started. They changed the rear tired, which is the hardest, but as they promised, it wasn't so bad when it was all said in done. They also had a tube with a small hole in it that they repaired with a patch repair kit. I'll have to run out to REI and get a tube, a patch kit, and the little implements that help remove and put the tire back on.


- We did a 15.1-mile ride today in the Raleigh area. It was called the “Green Road Park” route. At times we ended up on Six Forks Road, Glenwood Avenue, and Millbrook Road.

- There were two “Team IBM” members there (me, and my friend Joe), and about 25 Team Alliance members.


- At the beginning of every organized training ride (every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, between now and June 15th) we have to sign a waiver, hear “the rules of the road,” and receive our “Cue Sheets.” (The cue sheets have the route mapped out textually. i.e., Right out of Green Park Road, Left onto New Hope Church Rd., etc.)

- After saying it twice, I learned to not refer to my “hat,” but, rather, to my “helmet.”

- I need some “accoutrements” for my bike! I had no place to put my keys. If I’d’ve had a spare tire tube, clippers to change a tire with, a patch kit, and a water bottle, I’d’ve had no place for those either.

- I need a water bottle, and I probably need to wear a sweatband or one of those kerchiefs that a couple of folks wore under their helmet.

- I can now change a bicycle tire, even the rear one! An hour before the ride, one of the riders gave a clinic on how to do this.

- Cue sheets are critical. Early in the ride I ended up lagging far enough behind the folks in front of me to not see where they turned, but so far ahead of the people behind me that I couldn’t see them either. I used the cue sheet extensively.

- I can get the chain back on if it falls off. I panicked when this happened as it was when I was “between groups” and no one was around to show me. I thought, “Great. Chain clinic is probably next week!” I flipped my bike over and did what I thought I should do and it worked. Yippee.


- A few of the hills were challenging, but manageable. My neck hurt just a little this time. Joe is going to help me tilt my handlebars up just a tad. He did his last night.


- A little disappointed that for so much of the ride today, I was actually riding alone. Next time, it’s worth slowing down to wait for a group that might be lagging than to continue to try and catch up with the group who has passed me by. Especially if someone in that group knows the route! It’s totally worth waiting for them rather than to have to constantly get the cue sheet out to find my way.

- Very good about 1) having gotten the chain back on myself, 2) discovering most of the route as I went along using the cue sheet, and 3) out of the many times I stopped at traffic lights, I was able to get my toe into the second clip fairly well upon starting back up. I had only once incident where I was having a little trouble with the right foot, during which I almost ran into the curb.

- I feel like when God was cranky, he made hills. There were two major cranky spots on the route today.

- I received another significant donation last night, and am feeling so blessed about the people in my life who are being so supportive and generous.

After the ride, I went home and had lunch. A little later, I ran out to REI and bought the tire-changing stuff, a rear-mount pouch, gloves, and two water bottle holders. I also "joined" REI for a purchase-percentage refund at the end of the year. Spent about $80 in all.

I arrives at Oasis at about 10 till 9, and Ronnie arrived shortly after. I didn't spend much time with him as, as always, I was dancing most of the time. He left after probably an hour, without saying bye. I hope I didn't upset him.

Part way through the evening Mark K. (formerly from the GLBT book club) arrived, and we danced several dances together. He had taken swing lessons in the past, but had never two-stepped. He cut on pretty quickly. At one time he was talking with Ross, and I thought, now that is a sexy couple.

Joe arrived late, and I met his new boyfriend, Javier, and had a couple of dances with him. Always fun. There were quite a few Lesbians there, one of them was having a birthday, and another of them did a Karaoke song to Patsy Cline's "Crazy." Oh my God, the woman had a phenomenal voice.

I danced until about 12:30.

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