This guest post was submitted by Jennifer Fields, a club member who participated in the Cascade Training Series and is riding the Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic for the first time this year.
I just completed my very last ride with the Cascade Training Series (CTS) group and wow, have I come a long way!
We rode the “around the lake loop” which is a 50 mile ride around Lake Washington with a few small climbs and lots of fun. I remember the first time we took this ride – it was after only week 4 of our training series and I couldn’t imagine riding a whole 50 miles in one day. But the CTS training program started out slowly and gradually added miles and hills to each ride so it wasn’t as scary as I had imagined.
Turns out that 10 weeks later, the last ride is the “around the lake loop.” It was so rewarding to excel on this last ride! After all the training, skills classes and encouragement from our ride leaders, everyone in the group rode this last ride with strength, determination, and success. Who knew that we would ride a 50 mile ride and still want to ride more?
Previous to signing up for the CTS, I had never ridden my bike in the road or with a group of people. When I first signed up I did it so that I could learn how to properly ride a bike with groups, learn traffic signals, and all the other basics like how to fix a flat. What I got out of the series was more than I ever bargained for.
I can’t imagine another program in which you are taught all the skills you need to ride your bike with confidence, where you make long-term friendships, and where you have the most amazing time riding your bike. This was a great experience and I will recommend it to all my friends.