As we continue our training for the ride of the Cabot Trail we have some firsts to report.
Food (and drink!)
Part of our 'pitch' during the information session included an insistence that this wouldn't be all hard work - that there would be social events throughout our training, both after rides and as stand-alone events. We also stressed that this was the participants' project, not ours. In other words, we wouldn't be responsible for the organization of anything beyond the training opportunities. A week ago we had our first social event - a potluck dinner in a home - and I didn't have to do anything but show up.
12 people attended of the 20 or so who now seem committed. Most were strangers to one another except for name and face recognition from classes. I was astounded by how easily they connected and even more amazed by the discussions that they initiated - principally about fear. Everyone shared, without prodding, their reservations about the trip. Some were deeply personal stories and several involved the lack of support they felt at home.
As an outgrowth of the discussions at the dinner, four of us have met to discuss ways to capture this information now and at several points during the training process. We all feel strongly that there's merit in recording the change we know will occur in both the participants and their support systems. We are actively pursuing radio and video documentary options and are committed, in any event, to a text-based record of our experiences. In addition, one participant is the editor of a local lifestyle magazine http://www.saltscapes.com/and a freelance writer. She is pitching the story to national publications with wide readership.
Data, data, data
March 31 brought the first pile of training logs to my desk. I am having people use the simple session RPE system which Carl Foster outlined in one of his presentations at the ICI/PRO conference. The logs were very complete which I think speaks to the ease of use and common sense nature of the system.
I was able to turn around the logs by the following day and handed out lovely colored charts and a page of notes to each person. They, in turn, were able to address the group on the impact of keeping a log. I predict that their observations along with the pretty pictures and personal comments will inspire more people to collect their own data.
New bikes, first rides
There are several new bikes in the group and all of the new owners have braved the iffy spring weather for their first rides of the year. I am delighted by their enthusiasm but truly impressed by the fact that they all used their heart rate monitors outside.
Drier weather and warming temperatures mean that we will do our first group trail ride in two weeks. That's a few weeks earlier than I had scheduled and it is possible not only because of good riding conditions but because people will be physically and mentally ready for the challenges I have planned. I'll send a report after we have done a few rides and skill clinics.