This weekend’s ride was intended to give a welcome break to Peloton ride leaders who completed a few major goal rides over the past couple of weeks, and to inspire new comers and re-entry riders to come out and give Cycle Folsom a try. The destination was William B. Pond Park, approximately 30 miles round trip. The ride description indicated that the pace would be a bit more tame than usual, which proved successful as we had 4 new comers, 3 re-entry riders, and 3 regulars.

There was a slight chill in the air at 8am when we started, but the wind was fairly calm and the sun was seemed ready to warm us up fairly quickly.

Our pace varied from time to time, but stayed in the range of 17 mph. It was enjoyable to hear—and take part in—discussions throughout the pack.

Ross Del Ducra took the lead of the pack for several miles as other leaders moved up and down the line in the group. As we road within striking distance of the bridge before W.B. Pond Park, Stan called for a sprint across the bridge. In typical fashion, he did this only after he gained plenty of speed and caught everyone totally off guard.

After a brief break, we headed back. Our pace was about the same. At Sunrise Park, we crossed the river and did a quick up-and-down on the small hill on River Dr. The goal being to show new riders a way to incorporate “repeats” on small hills on an otherwise flat trail, and begin to build some strength to take on larger hills.

As we headed back toward the ride start, every one was made aware that the stronger riders would likely up the pace as they got closer to the finish. The prediction held true, after passing a lot of runners and walkers that were part of a fun-run event, four of us pushed pretty hard all the way to the end.

As we all re-grouped in the end, it seemed that the goal of the ride was met. The newer riders didn’t seem shell-shocked, the re-entry riders had a bit more confidence in their smiles, and the regulars enjoyed a great ride with a little less pounding than normal.