Written 4 Nov2014 by Mona Will
It all started around a similar time and under similar circumstances. Two women, on separate occasions, who knew nothing about the other, nor showed up on the same ride at the same time, would show up for a group ride and end up feeling demoralized because either she couldn’t keep up with the group, or no one else her speed (slow, quite slow in fact) showed up. She would pack up her bike and go back home and wonder if she should or shouldn’t try another ride.
Luckily we happened to show up on another group ride and, along with two other women, rode together. The four of us had a few things in common: we loved to cycle, we weren’t going to stop riding just because the weather was getting colder, and we rode between 10-12 miles an hour, which was a speed much slower than the other 3RVS groups. Deborah Watts, Susan Zuber, Amy Copeland and I decided we would meet every week and ride together. We had a great time and began posting on the 3RVS Facebook page that others were welcome to join us. That was the fall of 2013. It wasn’t very long before our group grew from four to sometimes seven or eight. And men readily joined us. The group continued to ride through the fall and winter months with an average of 6 riders.
3RVS' Touring director Steve Pequignot contacted Amy and me to suggest that we consider becoming a recognized group of 3RVS. It didn’t take long for us to say “SURE” but we wanted to come up with a group name that was catchy; something not easily forgotten. We had a few emails back and forth and decided on the name “SLOWER”. Yes, the group was slower than the other groups but the name was actually an acronym. “SLOWER” stands for “Sexy Legs On Wheels Everyone Respects”.
Amy Copeland and I became co-leaders for the group. We anticipated a busy summer with weekend activities that neither of us wanted to sacrifice. Yet we wanted to make sure that almost every weekend offered a SLOWER ride. The 3RVS spring welcome ride was the official debut of the group. There was a very strong showing for the 10-12 mph pace and the first ride was a great success in both numbers and enthusiasm.
Amy and I tried to incorporate an ice cream stop on as many rides as possible. And there have been a couple “mystery rides” during the season. One led by Amy with Ed Lines as her unsuspecting follower and the other time by me. My ride, dubbed “the Grand Adventure” by the group started out to be a 32 or so mile ride but ended up being a metric century. (The cookout afterwards made all those miles seem to melt away.)
We has been known to host an after-ride treat of chilled watermelon straight out of the cooler, right in the parking lot, cooling off after an especially sweaty ride at a local splash pad, and participating in a group ride that visited a winery. We have also upped our game; on recent rides the groups are averaging 15 mph and that’s including some killer hills. After our active riding season I posted a ‘sexy legs’ photo montage of people who have ridden with our group during the year on the club's website.
The busy cycling season is closing down, but the SLOWER group will continue to ride each weekend until it gets too dang cold to have fun on a bike. When that time finally comes, the cross country skis will be pulled out of the closets and you will see many of the group members at either Metea or Fox Island County parks, ripping through the trails. We have also been known to stop at DeBrands for some delicious after-skiing chocolate treats. And sometimes we go ice skating downtown at the ice rink.
Watch the 3RVS website and Facebook page where we will announce the date and location of future events. Come out, join us, and have some fun.