I finally kept up with "the group" for Saturday's bike ride, which surprisingly left me with mixed emotions. I was so proud of myself for "hanging on", but by the time I had a chance to realize what had happened, I was well passed the half way point (which means, there is no short-cut home) on a 70+ mile ride in the middle of no-where, when I realized I was exhausted! The pace was a blistering (too me) 20 mph or so, but the worst part wasn't the pace, it was the focus. If for a split second my mind wandered off to notice a munching cow or even a crazy cloud formation, I would have been done for...stranded in wheat fields with only deranged farmers and their ruthless dogs to boost my motivation. About that point, Ryan said to me, "you know, you're the only girl here"...yah, and I was beginning to think it was a very bad idea! Not only were they really messing up my potty break, but when was chat time? Don't you guys ever just ride at conversation pace?!?! When we stopped to get some water, I looked around and thought who the hell are these guys? The only recognition I had for the past 3 hours was of what they looked like on their bike from behind. Once they took their helmets and glasses off, I realized they probably didn't care about chit-chat, they wanted this ride to over with as much as I did! As we trudged along thru the wind, I began to appreciate the silent communication of group rides - and that the group seemed to not think of me as a girl, but just as a rider...who better start pulling her keep!!! Hey, I'm working on it.