All week I've been looking forward to the Thursday night group ride that leaves from the bike store and goes downtown and back (about 14 miles). It's hard to find bike riding opportunities when you're a beginner like I am. Running is easy because just running through a neighborhood or two will give you a solid workout. Riding a road bike through a neighborhood or two will leave you thinking "Really? That was it? I'm not even out of breath!" So a group ride is great because there's a pack of cyclists which, if you ever driven a car, scares the crap out of motorists and can be a lot safer.
About 50 people (guessing!) showed up for the ride last night. I saw two people fall over before we even left the parking lot, so I was feeling more confident. (It actually isn't that hard to fall off a bike you're attached to...) We began the ride going through some neighborhoods and as the sun was beginning to set, we reached downtown San Antonio. Mike and I sort of tagged along with whomever was closest at the time since everyone sort of takes their own way back. It was pretty cool seeing cyclists sort of swarming around the area with their little blinking lights. The sights and sounds reminded me of the few vacations I've taken down here. Made me think of my high school girls and my dad. It's easy to forget you live in a touristy town when you've got your head down doing day-to-day things! After taking a trip around the Tower of the Americas and the Alamo (which I totally missed since I was focusing on not becoming road kill), it was time to head back to the shop.
It was pretty much dark by the time we reached Broadway (the street on which the shop is located). Mike and I just kept going past the shop since we had biked the 2-mile trip from our house to the store. We reached a stop light and everything went very smoothly until all of a sudden I was laying on the pavement. In the dark. In the middle of Broadway. I had a freak-out and got myself upright with a few choice words coming out along the way. I'm still not sure if I was scared or just mad that I was so close to making it the whole ride without falling. My chain had fallen off in the process so we pulled over and Mike sweetly put my chain back on and explained what he was doing so I'd know for next time. We took neighborhood streets home and I was no worse for the wear when we reached our driveway. A shower, milk and a cookie and a band-aid for my skinned knee were all it took for me to feel good as new again!
We're planning on doing a 40- or 65-mile ride in a couple weeks northwest of San Antonio. The weekend after that I'm doing the Sweet and Twisted sprint triathlon (500-meter swim, 15-mile bike, 3.1 mile run). I hope to get some swimming in over the next few weeks.