In politics, a "Big Tent" party is one that is trying to bring more people in by being diverse and less divisive. Sunday was a "big tent" day for me, as I tried to do some things that brought new blood -- figuratively, fortunately -- into the Harpeth Bike Club.
It started with a skills clinic in the morning, taught by Coach Emma Cribb from the I Am Racing bike team.
Coach Emma stayed off the bike this time -- a rarity for her -- because of her advanced pregnancy, but brought three teammates for the riding portion of the clinic. It focused on paceline and group-riding skills, and was extremely informative and well-delivered.
I was even able to help out, teaching one of the students how to park her bike against the curb. Riding stuff I may be only so-so on, but when it comes to getting off of a bicycle I am a pro.
After the clinic a group of us went out to practice some of what Emma had preached, heading down Wilson Pike to Cox, then back via McDaniel, Meeks, and Peytonsville Roads. The clouds had cleared up and a light breeze was blowing, making for the kind of August days that we just don't get enough of in middle Tennessee.
It had been a long morning since I had grabbed my coffee in bagel on the way to the clinic, so I rode from there over to Sonic and ate lunch. RandoGirl picked me up there and we drove over to Arrington Vineyards for a 1 pm group ride.
We had a big turnout, probably because 1) the weather was still nice and cool, although we had a couple of raindrops hit us during the ride, and 2) the ride organizers -- Regina Jensen and Ed Condon -- had mandated a 13-15 MPH maximum speed.
Regina and Ed regularly enforced the speed limit during the ride, so we all behaved and didn't race one another for the top of every hill. This also meant that we slowed down, talked, enjoyed the countryside, and actually just had fun riding a bike.