Biking/Fat Biking, New Moon News

How New Moon’s Group Ride Has Evolved With The Times

New Moon's mountain bike groups come together before continuing on their return ride
The mountain bike groups come together before continuing on their return ride.

One of our favorite things about summer is the New Moon Group Ride. These days, we all look forward to Tuesday afternoon so we can have a great workout, see some great trails, and enjoy some great company. Now boasting sometimes up to 5 different groups, the Tuesday Night Ride ride has been able to offer a road or trail route for every type of rider.

Back before Chris and Joel owned New Moon, the hottest ride in town was the Chequama Mama’s Thursday Night Ride (which is still going btw) that was predominately a road ride and then a potluck aprés ride. New Moon’s Tuesday ride was the off-road equivalent, where riders would explore the ever-increasing CAMBA trail system.

Road riders discuss the route
Dusty gets the riders together and explains the route for the week.

Following the momentum road cycling had in the early 2000s, the New Moon ride became a road ride, affectionately dubbed the Tuesday Night World Championships because those guys like to put the hammer down! This ride attracted a group of strong and eager riders who took group rides extremely seriously—sprints to the stop ahead signs happened at least 5 times every Tuesday night.

With cycling diversifying in the last 5 to 10 years, the Tuesday Night Ride has also evolved to include many different types of both rides and riders.

Mountain bike group returns to the shop
Extra style points for this retro New Moon Kit!

“Currently, we’ve got a smaller hard core road group, an off-road contingent that usually breaks into at least 2 groups, even a fun ‘around-town’ ride that takes advantage of the bike path and quiet roads around the shop. We’ve even occasionally got a gravel group going,” Chris Young says.

Kristy, who was instrumental in getting the mountain bike ride off the ground in 2019, explains, “I enjoy the diversity of people who come both in skill level and from different parts of the community or different communities altogether. Usually, there are at least 3 if not 4 groups on the MTB ride, a place for all abilities. Even beginners like me! I find exercise with a group is easier. Less self talk and more chit chat with others—if I’m not feeling good there are people to help me through.  And, I love all the stories I hear on the rides!”

In 2019, the first year of the new mountain bike group, we had some beginners and some experienced riders,” Joel remembers.” A minor disaster seemed to happen each Tuesday. I got us lost in mosquito hell, someone tore a derailleur off completely, someone fell in an awful stinky puddle up to their chest, we all got rained on, endured multiple stings from a bald hornet nest—even had one terrible broken collar bone (sorry, Lori)—but everyone from the first year is back this year. We’ve had much better luck, and we actually look forward to the next adventure!”

Riders head north to quieter roads at the start of the road ride.
Riders head north to quieter roads at the start of the road ride.

The New Moon ride does 2 things for Daryl—it motivates him to get in another workout, and it helps him spend time with friends. “After a long day at work, it can be hard to get out the door to exercise. A group ride helps motivate me to get that workout in as well as connect with other athletes afterward for some quality time and conversation. The New Moon ride also helps me mix up my workout routine.”

Chris Hecker agrees, “Group rides make getting out for workouts far easier and are much more motivating than solo rides. And, the New Moon ride is extremely welcoming to new riders—all ability levels can join the ride!”

It’s true! We love to see new folks at the ride and are always up for the challenge of riding something different. “I love our Tuesday night rides because they are a great way to meet new people and try trails that I normally wouldn’t do by myself!” Dani says.

Lauren and Dani enjoy time together after the ride
Lauren and Dani enjoy time together after the ride.

Julie adds, ” Our group ride provides security and challenge at the same time. I’m more than happy to take a leisurely ride with a beginner. No intimidation. We all just wanna have fun.”

“If you are new to our group, make sure you check in with one of the leaders here at the shop,” Chris Young reminds folks. “One of us can help you find the group to match your goal, whether it is for a tool around town or a group ride with a pace line and sprints.”

Relaxing on the deck after the group ride
The deck is the place to be after a Tuesday Night Ride.

And, after the workout, stay for refreshments and conversation. “Since we’ve put in the deck and gotten a liquor license, the after-ride entertainment takes place in comfy chairs with drinks, including Angry Minnow Beer, on the deck instead of out of the backs of cars,” Chris Young says. Sometimes folks even bring dinner which gives us even more time to tell our ride stories and enjoy the summer while it lasts.

Dinner after the ride
Taco Tuesday was the best this year with food to die for and peach margaritas!

Before you know it, summer will be over, kids will be back at school, and the weather will get colder. If you’ve thought about coming to a ride—no matter what your experience—please join us before the snow flies. Everyone is welcome. You can check our Facebook page or give us a call to see what the planned rides are for the week. And just like Julie says, “You don’t know what you can do until you get out and try!” Hope to see ya on the trails!

Riding on the Hatchery Trails.
Emily and Kristy ride the Hatchery Trails early in the summer.