I mentioned a few days back that I'm working with some Scouts (age range 11-15) on the Cycling Merit Badge.
As much as I love cycling... riding with these kids has had its share of frustrations. As I told one of the other adult leaders, "I've always been impatient, so this is a good exercise for me." (We've completed two 25-mile rides now; the grand finale 50-mile ride looms, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 27.)
We schedule a ride for 8:30 Saturday morning. The participants arrive STARTING at 8:30, and going out to 8:50 or so. (And some NEVER arrive; we end up riding past their houses and rousting 'em.) Their bicycles are in various stages of readiness. We end up being "on the road" by maybe 9:15.
Once we're underway... they don't seem to understand the concept of pacing themselves. One minute they're hammering at 18mph; the next minute (literally) they're plodding along at 7 or 8mph. And of course, the "weakest link concept" is in effect - we end up going the pace of the slowest kid. (There doesn't seem to be one overall-slowest kid, however. They take turns at it.)
Both of our 25-milers have been out the "greenbelt" toward Lucky Peak. With occasional road/traffic exposure. They actually seem to be OK on the road; at least so far I haven't had a heart-attack moment due to a close call. (We've discussed the concepts of safe cycling at length... ya just can never know for sure when they're paying attention.)
One poor kid seems to be gravity-challenged. He's had crashes on both of our 25-mile rides. The first time, "horseplay" was involved. The second, he'd barely started pedaling (still in the parking lot) and I guess he hit some slippery leaves. Fortunately, neither crash was serious.
It's taken us 2 1/2 - 3 hours to finish each of the 25-milers. We need to finish our 50-miler in 8 hours or less. (Oh, what a day that promises to be.) I'm not sure we can all make it. (I'm not sure I can make it, if it ends up taking 8 hours. I could ride 50 miles in 3 hours; I'm not sure whether I can do it in 8 hours; my tailbone will be complaining bitterly!)