Leading My First Group Ride

by 

Jean Leechan

Well girls, here’s the long overdue article. My writing is not the best. So when the club decided to make a rule for new members to write an article for the newsletter, I must admit that I thought that I was “grand fathered” and wouldn't have to do it.

At the June meeting when the decision was made, I was pointed at and told to come up with an article. I melted right into the pavement since the meeting was being held outside. I said to myself, “Self, how am I going to pull this one off?”

When the meeting was over, we gathered as a group to go over the group riding instructions before we left on the trip to the Belmar Seafood Festival. I remember Marlene told anyone who has not ridden with the group before to go with Tam. Not stopping to think, I jumped right into that group which was most likely for the best. As I'm chugging along on my Harley, I started to think (which can be very dangerous for me).

Picture the dialogue bubble over my head as I'm riding along, “This is not my first group ride you poop-head.” My first group ride was the last Polar Bear ride of this season. I met the club at the Finderne Firehouse for the pancake breakfast. I remember feeling a wee bit out of place since I arrived in, not on, my 2000 Volvo (how yuppie, even though I'm far from being a yuppie). The weather was still a tad to nippy for me to ride.

After breakfast, the weather seemed to warm a smidgen. I overheard some of the members talking about wanting to ride into New Hope so I offered to lead them to my house so I could get my bike and tag along for the group ride. They agreed. So I left with approximately 8 riders following behind my bright red Volvo. At that moment, I feel like a million bucks and no longer the yuppie.

I'm a new member and I have these trusting motorcyclists following my lead. Everyone made it safely to my house. I started the bike, walked the dogs, and things were still great! Just as I'm about to put on my helmet, Marlene asks me how to get to New Hope from my house. Then Marlene made the decision to have me lead the ride instead of trying to explain it her.

Now the poop factor kicked in, a new member leading a ride. Me, leading a ride! Now that is trust!! I wasn't worried about getting lost or having to turn around. I know these roads like the back of my hand. But, the wind gusts were almost unbearable and I had 7 or 8 other riders to be concerned with and make sure they all made it to New Hope safely.

We made it into New Hope with no problems and I was told that I performed very well except that I passed a bunch of parking spaces on the main drag so we had to park in a paid lot (2 for $5 no time limit).

It’s my understanding that a new member has never led their first group ride. I think I'll give myself a little pat on my back.

Back to the Belmar ride, it was a picture perfect day and my first ride down to the Jersey Shore on the bike. The sun was hot, it was a bit humid, but the shore breeze made you forget all that. The food was yummy, although a little pricey, but definitely yummy. The ride there was beautiful. I'd forgotten how nice it is along Route 520. This area was my old stomping grounds when I was younger, way younger!! Over all I had a great time on both rides.

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