Admittedly Tuesday Average Joe's ride was nearly called off, the weak inner voices whispering whilst commuting home through an April blizzard. Snow, proper snow, northerly winds, pictures of friends log-burners on Facebook. Come on! Who rides on an evening like that?
But boy, I am so glad I didn't cancel. It was a fabulous ride, one of the best. The storm clouds hovered and glowed an angry amber, yet not once did they soak us as we swooped, dodged trees and got caught up in the tight twisty singletrack of the woods.
With no significant differences in pace or skills, and everyone happy to have a go at something a little different, we had a lot of fun. Be it the not-that-easy steps by the church, the sneaky steepy leading from a private carpark (ssshhh no one saw) or the behind-the-houses singletrack. We were all grateful to live where we do, and be blessed with so much variety in riding, right on the doorstep.
I love the big social group rides, but there is something to be said for a smaller, compact group, where you can just enjoy the ride without worry of keeping so many folk together. Flow is everything, and for once, I found mine.