I am very excited for the 2019 ride season (my second year) and getting out on the road on two-wheels!  Newer to ERTC, let me share a little about my first year experience with this great group!

I had never done any formal riding and certainly was not a road bike rider.  I couldn’t even fathom riding on a road or highway and most certainly didn’t have the confidence to do so.  I went to the “Learn to Ride” courses and learned a lot of information from very knowledgeable and patient riders!  My very first ride with the group was a cold one with a head wind most of the way; I was the last rider bringing up the rear by a great distance.  I was fortunate and thankful to have 2 lovely ladies who stayed with me on that very long journey and they encouraged me all the way. I nearly threw in the towel that day; I was embarrassed and never thought I would be able to ride with the group as I would only hold them up.  

However, I stuck with it and by the end of the season my average speed increased, I expanded my riding skills, I no longer “feared” cars on the road and I gained the confidence to ride by myself. I also learned how to ride a track bike at the Velodrome and bought a cyclocross bike to begin that new adventure! Most importantly, I met some great people who have a passion for everything with 2 wheels and I have made new friends!  If I had quit after my first ride, I would never have had the experiences of riding, or met the great people that I did last year. I am grateful for all those who encouraged me and were willing to share their experiences and knowledge with me.

And now a new ride season is upon us and I have actual riding goals (never thought I would say that)! I am going to race some crits for the first time, increase my distance this year and try a cyclocross race and gravel rides!  Most importantly I cannot wait to get out with the WoERTC group and hit the road! For those who are new to the group – Welcome!  You will have a blast. This is a great group of ladies who provide a supportive and encouraging environment to ride.  See you out there soon!

~Karen Marner