Stef and I had a great ride today. We decided to join the North Shore Cyclists' Sunday ride. We took the 45 mile route which was just beautiful. We didn't get to spend much time with the NS Cyclists since we are slow and got dropped pretty quickly. The time we did spend with them was very pleasant and we felt very welcome. The group is nice, organized and had a very good cue sheet which was easy to follow. This was good since we spent most of the ride on our own. This was actually fine with me. Riding in a group on a tandem can be tricky. We go uphill slower and downhill so much faster than everyone else that riding with a group that is going an equivelant average speed ends up being a fairly nerve wracking game of leap frog. We also take turns wider and take longer to get going from a stop. I would like to increase our group riding skills as time goes on but it will mean increasing our average speed quite a bit. This is happening for us, but slowly. Used to be we averaged 11-12 mph on a regular ride. Our last three rides, though, we've been averaging 13.5+. This is exciting stuff, especially considering how crummy I've been feeling. Riding has been getting to be the only time I feel really good lately. It just sucks the life out of me for the rest of the time. Hopefully, things will improve once I de-toxify.
I'll be really interested to see how next season shapes up. Right now, I'm only ten pounds heavier than I was the year I did three centuries and rode my bike down here and back from where I was living in Maine (378 mile round trip done in four days). I was also eighteen years younger but we won't talk about that. So, if I can lose a bunch more weight over the winter, who knows what next season will bring.