Saturday, July 8th
I went to the pre-ride gala at Nichols school in Buffalo, NY. I am not the best , socially, and I had to force myself to mingle. The people were very nice; a very socially inclined group. I just found an empty seat and asked if I could join. Not having companions probably forced me to meet more people than I might have otherwise. I met other solo riders as well, so I was not alone in being alone. I am a vegetarian, and the ride does manage to successfully arrange for this. There was Bully Hill wine, provided by Frontier Beverage, a local beverage shop.
Initially I thought my youngest child would be interested in coming along, and so had requested statistical information about the age demographics. There had been many children on the past year's ride. Unfortunately, I had put a training mileage requirement on my son of 200 miles, and he had not been motivated to come even close. In hind-sight, he probably would have made it anyways. The average age on this ride this year was announced to be 48. 60% are male (I am female). Along the ride, I found most of the single riders to be male. Most of the women were in groups of some sort, families or friends.
I should also mention that I volunteered, which technically waives your fees. There was a meeting for volunteers, at which they explained each group's function. My function was to provide bicycle SAG (Support And Gear). Bike SAG travels along with the group, offering motivational and bike maintenance assistance (fixing flats, reattaching chains...). On Wednesday, I would be required to "sweep", which entails lingering at the end of the group to ensure no one gets left behind.