Our motley crew for Tuesday night bike rides has been dwindling since the return of school and kids activities in September. We have gone from nearly 15 people each week to around 6 or so each Tuesday. We use to have a group a 3-4 girls each week, but tonight I was the only girl in a group with 5 guys.
We headed out on an ambitious route that the group leader thought would be around 25 miles. We left at 5:30PM which would give us about 1 1/2 hours before sunset. We would have to haul to beat the sunset! I stayed with the group without any problems until around mile 14 or so. We were on a section that was in general uphill for about 2 miles followed by a significant hill climb. As we began that section, our group of six split into 2 groups. The front group was hauling butt and wasn't really looking back on the two remaining riders (myself and the group leader.) The two of us that were getting dropped finished up the big climb near each other and I started to try and pick up the pace to catch the rest of the group. The group leader took a rest break but I thought he was just a few seconds behind me.
The route we were on was relatively safe but the sun was quickly setting and I just started to freak out that none of the men in the group were checking on the two of us that were left behind. We had a small highway to cross and I was about 1/3 mile back from the lead group when I saw them take off and cross the highway. I let out a huge swear in shock since it was the ideal spot for everyone to regroup up. The next few miles are on a heavily traveled road without much of a shoulder so it is nice to be in a group on this section. I wasn't looking forward to doing it alone but had no choice if I wanted to get back in the group.
I kept pushing and finally caught up to the boys after nearly 7 miles of trying. I sort of maybe flipped the bird to a couple of them and sort of maybe was a little snippy with them when we got to one of the few stoplights on our entire route. By the next light, I apologized for my snippy comment and just told them I was alone and over-reacted. We all regrouped and rode the last 6 miles as a big group again. It was probably best that way since we were now quickly losing light and only a few of us had blinky lights on our bikes. We ended up with 30 miles and my average for the total was 17mph but my average during the 7 miles I was trying to catch the boys was over 18.3mph with a few miles above 19mph!
Overall, the lesson for today was don't panic and over-react. While I am riding as part of a group, I am responsible for myself and I can't expect the guys to treat me differently. In the moment, instead of thinking how awesome I had just done to catch back up all I could think about was how awful it was of them to not wait for me. Totally the wrong attitude to have and I was glad the guys understood and accepted my apology for being snippy. Whoopsie! Good lesson learned tonight!