Today I did the HBC ride, which started in Arrington (about 20 minutes away), was about a 42-mile loop, and then ended at the house where we had a chili supper and there was bonfire. I wanted to do a fun ride, and I'd invited Will to join us (us being me and Lisa, but she left us before we made it a mile and ended up riding more than "mellow" the whole ride; she had already ridden home, showered, and changed before we arrived), so I rode my comfy bike and hung with Will, who was on his mountain bike, the whole time. Little did I know he hadn't been on his bike for any significant length of time in almost 2 years!
We started out kind of slow, learning how to shift and manage the hills, but he's a quick study so that lesson didn't take long at all. We continued through the first rest stop and then got with a group of riders. Will did so well keeping up; he was wearing tennis shoes, and clipless shoes and pedals add 2-3 miles per hour easily. After the second rest stop, we went on and then were passed by or rode with the others who we had left at the previous stop. I had the cue sheet and we were doing perfectly staying on course. At the third rest stop, a painted sign on the ground said to turn right, but the cue sheet seemed to say to go straight, and we saw people going straight, so we followed them at least 2 miles. Then we realized that we were going the wrong way (one guy had a GPS and couldn't see any of the roads we were supposed to be near), so we had to turn around. Fortunately about a dozen people then rode up (which means we were moving faster than I thought--my bike computer wasn't working, so I didn't have any idea about speed or mileage).
We figured out which way to go and headed out again. That was around mile 30 (of our total 46 or so with the added miles there), and Will was starting to feel that he hadn't been sitting on the bike much in the past, so I'm pretty sure we slowed down significantly. We were the last ones in, but we kept moving the whole time. Of course, there really would have been no quitting from us even if we had known where we were. At the nice easy pace, we were able to enjoy the gorgeous day, the farms around the area, and some casual conversation. The hardest part was probably up the hill to their house (although it was starting to get cold, and Will had been hungry most of the last hour or so), but we made it and he did awesome! Then we got to go inside and get some good chili, made by Jack.