I had a great experience last weekend! I participated in my first real cycling event - PedalPGH! 2013. My wonderful son and daughter-in-law, and their terrific cycling friends, convinced me to give it a try and then rode with me and encouraged and supported me all along the way. It was pretty awesome! I made it up some hills without stopping, took a rest on a few and then continued, and later in the ride I did have to walk a few times, but I wasn't the only one who stopped or walked. I was able to "stay with the pack" at times, passed a few people here and there, and got passed by many. Thanks so much to Colin and Stef for all their encouragement and patience and for riding slowly in order to stay with me! I count my first group event ride as a big success!
This was my route. We did the 25 mile city tour. We rode over several bridges, through a variety of neighborhoods, several parks, and different areas of the city. Riding on city streets, in traffic, with lots of other riders was a whole new experience for me and I really loved it! The whole event was so well organized and the routes were clearly marked. There was a record number of participants too. Almost 3,000 cyclists rode one of the 3 possible routes!
This was not my longest ride ever, but definitely my most difficult ride ever! The description in the ride packet and on the website says, "Expect a few mild hills." Mild?! Maybe by Pittsburgh standards, but not by mine! I was definitely challenged by these "hills" (read "mountains") but it's good to be challenged, right? Below is the profile of my route.
This was such a great experience for me, I will definitely sign up to do this again next year! I might even look for more events like this to participate in.