My friend, Amanda, recently bought a road bike and wanted basic instruction on going from the trainer to the road. Enter: me (god help her).
I tried to get a few people out, but it ended up just being Amanda, Nigel and I. Her first day riding outdoors was a little on the breezy side (40km/h) but gave us a chance to do some easy spinning with the wind and cover a lot of ground. At this point you might think we ended up going too far, but nope. However we did take a different, unplanned, route back. This resulted in riding a few kilometres down a road that ended up being a dead end. Or was it??? There was a little trail off one side, which Nigel jokingly suggested we take. Amanda immediately said sure! Let's do it! At that point, can you imagine two intrepid males saying no, looks kinda sketchy? Hell no!
Two hours later:
A few days later, Amanda excitedly told her roadie friends about her first road ride. They were shocked and appalled. Gravel? Hiking paths? The horror! haha
"run of the mill" ride. And it was. At least until half way. Since we were only an hour behind schedule, we figured on the return we would take the road less traveled.... Again, Amanda was partly at fault. But again, so fun! The result: we hiked about half a kilometre on the beach, crossed a small stream feeding into Lake Ontario (water was cold but not unbearable), more beach, rode through a bird sanctuary, out-voted Nigel on taking the actual road (sheesh!) and instead went back to hiking on the beach in order to meet up with the waterfront bike path.
I should point out that although Nigel sounds like the voice of prudence, in actual fact he was a large part of numerous diversions throughout both rides ("hey, google maps on my Blackberry shows a faint trail through this [impenetrable looking] forest!" and the like).
Amanda found out on this ride that an apple and 8 raisins doesn't quite replace 2,000 calories on a ride. She bonked so hard. Lesson learned, I reckon, and we got to make fun of her while she lacked any come-back power.