DARIEN, Conn. Some two dozen cyclists assembled Friday in a deepening dusk made even darker by ominous clouds in the west. Undeterred, they rolled out of the Darien railroad station parking lot, continuing a summer tradition of the TGIF Unwinder, a 20-mile ride sponsored for years by the Sound Cyclists Bicycle Club .
"The numbers are down tonight because of the weather," ride leader John Dugdale said, referring to the forecast of thunderstorms. Normally, more than twice that number show up to cover a scenic route through Darien, Rowayton and New Canaan. As it turned out, the rain held off until well after everyone finished, allowing plenty of time for socializing afterward.
"We always try to do the Friday ride," said John Keegan, who rode a tandem with his wife, Faith. The couple started riding with the club in 2007 and do some of the other scheduled rides on the weekendsalways together. "I think if I rode by myself people would think something happened," said John.
Lolli Ross is a more recent member of the club, joining two years ago, but she's made up for lost time. "I wish I'd discovered it a lot earlier," she said. Ross follows back roads from her office in Stamford to avoid rush hour traffic to make it to Darien in time for the 6 p.m. start. In addition, she leads two rides herself in her hometown of Greenwich. "My skill and confidence have grown so much better since I started riding with the club," she said. "I'm just so in love with the sport."
For Lindsay Smallwood, club rides have provided a good way to meet people after moving to Norwalk from Arkansas in January. "I just found out about it a little while ago, but they've been a lot of fun," she says.
The Friday evening rides end after Labor Day due to the shortening daylight, but Sound Cyclists organize dozens of other rides for all levels of riders throughout the week. Complete information is available on the club website .
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