Hills, Valleys, Bay and Beer (Sunday 7/13/14) - Ride Report
— Laura Stansfield
Today was another beautiful day to explore the areas west of Petaluma. The group of cyclist gathered at Walnut Park, and it was nice to see the group wasn’t overly intimidating. We had 13 riders total, mostly C riders with a few D's. We did have 2 visiting riders and 1 rider who is a member of SRCC but has only participated in a couple club rides over the last couple years...so there were a few new faces.
We had a good ride that to the best of my knowledge went smoothly, with no mechanical problems or issues. It was a beautiful day to be riding, with comfortable temps along the water, clear skies and very little wind. The temperatures heated up as we headed back inland but were still pretty comfortable. Three riders went back a shorter way, cutting out Marshall, and two went a longer way.
I want to say thank you to those who came out. Special thanks to Nikola and Nathan for their help in shepherding those who dropped back from the front group. When I realized there was going to be a split, and at least one rider was unfamiliar with the area, I asked Nikola if he would be willing to be a sweeper and he agreed. I then told the guest rider if he lost the front group to make sure he didn’t lose Nikola, and he wouldn’t get lost or, if he did, he would have company. This made my job a bit easier because I didn’t worry so much about somebody trying to navigate unfamiliar roads alone. Also thanks to Matt and Miguel, who helped keep an eye on riders and actually retraced our tracks on a couple of occasions to check for riders who ultimately weren’t too far behind. Also, I know some of the riders could have been riding D pace but scaled back to what I would consider C pace, which enabled us to keep the group pretty much together for most of the ride. We did have one rider who went ahead, but he was very thoughtful and left a note on my car letting me know he'd gotten back safely.
It is always great to ride with SRCC and, as noted above, when leading rides getting help and sometimes cooperation from other riders makes leading rides much less stressful…and that means there is a good chance I will lead another one.