Decided to give riding with Twickenham CC a go today. They have a policy of noobs needing to ride in their induction group 3 times before being allowed to play with the real club riders.
The group were quite sketchy and slow. One rider crashed into the person in front when everyone else had stopped at a junction. Chain gang was difficult as a lot of the riders only rode in their top gear - they'd start and stop in that gear and as result really struggled to modulate their speed. In the first half of the ride barring one climb it felt like the only things that elevated my heart rate were the cyclists around me and some fucking terrifying driving. Some awful overtaking from drivers going in either direction.
At the cafe stop I asked if I may transfer to another group and felt a whole lot more comfortable. My through and off technique is a little rusty, the rider behind me was struggling to keep to my wheel when we were pulling forward. Towards the end of the ride someone mentioned there is a sprint coming up and then a couple of people jumped out of the bunch. I had no idea where the end of the sprint was but found myself joining in like our youngest dog chasing another hound just for the hell of it. All of us in the sprint were annihilated by a young lady in the group.
It was suggested I join them for some of their Tuesday rides. I may see if I can juggle my evening schedule to accommodate this.