I must say that I have never participated in a ladies only group ride but today I broke that mold. Yes, there are lots of group rides but this one caught my attention because of its uniqueness…ladies only.
This 22-miler starts at 6:30pm and rolls in/around many of the same roads that Atlanta Cycling rides…but in reverse. I know these roads quite well but it was amazing to me how different if felt going backwards (for me). The terrain is what you would expect when riding Mt. Paran/Northside areas so expect some good climbing and great descents. I was quite impressed how the route was marked with very visible markings that you didn’t have to look around to see. It is important to note that if you find yourself towards the back of this ride, no need to worry as one of the ride leaders falls back and has a rolling sweep during the duration of the ride.
This ride starts out with a rider briefing, which was facilitated by the infamous Mike Harmon, who was filling in for AC’s usual leader who had to be in CA for the Tour de California; tough assignment, huh? No sympathy here. Also on the ride was Atlanta Cycling’s owner Don Dutson, Jr. who helped assist Mike, especially helping to block traffic safely at some traffic intersections in order to keep the entire group together. We should give him a badge and gun holster, as he sure does a great job with that traffic control.
Today was well attended by roughly 30 cyclists as we rolled out of Atlanta Cycling-Vinings parking lot. I have to admit, it was really cool seeing that many women in a group ride designed just for them. In the first few miles I asked several ladies what they liked about the ride. Many said the convenience of a group ride after work; others said the social aspect, while a handful commented of the challenging terrain that caused them to push themselves to be better. In addition, I found several riders that said this was their first time to join the ride; that’s a good sign as this ride seems to attract great participation for women.
I really felt a sense of the social side of this group ride, but also at the same time I could see determination on quite a few faces on some of the challenging parts of the ride. I had the opportunity to interact with several riders, as they asked about any tips that could help them on various cycling aspects. Those same riders went out of their way during & after the ride to thank me, which I really appreciated. I didn’t catch her name (you know who you are) but she knows she may have to ride back with flat tires if she moves her torso again. That’s a shout out to her, and for everyone else, this is not literal so don’t send me any emails on this.
Ladies, if you are looking for a group ride tailored for you, then this Tuesday ride is just for you. With several levels of rider ability on this ride, you are sure to find someone you can ride with and maybe create some new friends.
NOTE: there were about three or four guys on the ride so just a heads up.
See ya on the road…