I just got home from the most brilliant ride! I joined to Turbo Tuesday Nighttime ride for the first time. It's going to be a while before I'm able to go to sleep. What a ton of fun. Having said that, this ride isn't going to be everybody's cup of tea. It's consistently fast (at times very, very fast), and half the ride happens in the dark. This makes having a fair bit of nerve and a lot of experience in tight group critical prerequisites.
Ironically, though, it's also the safest, most relaxed and comfortable I have felt on my bike in a while. The group is small: a dozen riders. The communication is direct and highly focussed: pointing at road hazards and calling out cars are limited to the absolutely bare essentials but are very clear. Everybody rides with a healthy respect for the speed, the conditions and, most importantly, each other. When a few of us got seriously dropped by the Elite racers on the crit loop, we worked together to set the best pace we could and avoid getting lapped. If somebody got gapped on an incline, they instantly got help to bridge back on. We rode fast, but never with anything to prove. (In fact, I'm sure a few of the Elite racers in the group could have gone a hell of a lot faster!) I think that was the key to what made the ride so much fun, and also made it so smooth and safe.
Besides wanting to share the positive experiences from my first Turbo Tuesday ride, they seemed to fit well into the context of the larger discussions in the club over the last couple of weeks.