Yesterday Chris and I did our first group ride since the Tour de Habitat in 2011. 🙂 I joined the Albany chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club about a month ago, and saw they had a group ride through Helderbergs. Sounds like an awesome ride! We met the group in Clarksville, and then we all drove to the starting point at Berne High School. Berne is about 40 minutes West of Albany. Chris is prepping for the Erie Canal Bike Tour in a few weeks. Saturday's ride was casual, we planned on about 35 miles with a break for lunch at the 25 mile mark, at the Palmer House in Rennsealerville. We had a few really steep climbs in the beginning. One of the hills was so steep I had to get off and walk, but I wasn't the only one. But the view was so worth it. It was my first time doing a group ride, and it was so much fun. The group was very friendly and accommodating for all levels of biking. They assured me they weren't going for speed, that it was a relaxed ride, which was perfect! The views were gorgeous! There were so many green fields and farms (and hills), but I didokay! At first I was worried about the hills but I got used to them after awhile. There was also very little traffic (mostly just tractors!) so that was a plus! Around 2:00 we stopped for lunch at the Palmer House, a popular place in the town of Rensselaerville. I got the veggie panini, which came with chips and fruit. I wasn't sure how much I should eat since we had ~12 miles left of the ride, but I ate the whole sandwich, thankfully I didn't have any problems. (I like that about biking, you can't stop mid-run and eat lunch, that's for sure!) The sandwich was tasty and filling, perfect fuel for the rest of the ride! We all filled up our water bottles at the restaurant, and then went on our way! About 4 hours later, we were DONE!!! We rode about 36 miles total, the longest I've ridden so far on my bike. 🙂 I had so much fun I'm thinking about signing up for the Ididaride in the Adirondacks, which is 75 miles.... I'm thinking I should sign up and go for it!