The solution, like most endeavors involving people, was simply a little improved communication. Set expectations before the ride for distance, route, pace and climbing so everyone has the information to select events that will be appealing and appropriately challenging. It's also encouraged folks to speak up about what they are looking for, so others with similar interests can chime in.
No we're not holding hands and singing "Cum bay yah". But we did break the ice and folks now seem willing to acknowledge when they would prefer a less than blistering pace, which I think was the real challenge we were facing. This came together nicely on Saturday morning. We simply agreed ahead of time by email to split the 6:00 ride in two groups by desired pace. Some of our traditional rabbits are nursing themselves back from injuries sustained on or off the bike, and some us simply preferred the moderate pace. Regardless of motive, 6 of us set out from the Ranger Station with the intent to ride at less than Mach 2. There was also some talk about working out a new route. I suggested Brightview Rd to the airport and it worked out very nicely. The rabbits followed Solley Rd. and we all regrouped at Java Divas at 7:15, enjoyed the coffee and the view, then met the 7:30 ride at the R.B. for breakfast in Annapolis.
After breakfast I headed back to Severna Park to get ready for the tailgate party at Navy Football v Georgia Southern. The party was fun for my classmates and I who organized it. But my teenage daughters panned it and instead left me to join some friends from church who they found elsewhere at the game. Apparently Dad still doesn't score well on the social scale. I had also extended an open invite to the SPP to join us. Marie, a new rider who recently joined us a few weeks ago, took me up on and joined us for some burgers and beer before the game. I hope others will do the same.
To cap it all off, Navy won 13-7. They didn't play exceptional football, the offense didn't move as freely this week as they did last week in a loosing effort to U of MD. But GSU also runs the option offense so their defense is well schooled in how to defend it, which probably contributed to the lower numbers. Regardless, the first win of the season is now in the books and we had a great time.