Everyone usually has an embarrassing story or two. I hope mine might help somebody. I went on my first club ride on Sunday at Boyette. I was pretty sure that I was a B- rider skill level, but I was concerned about my fitness level. Up to this point I had only ridden Alafia and usually only two trails then stop. My longest ride has only been ~8 mi. On Sunday, I was ready to go. I had my 100 oz. Camebak full; I had eaten and hydrated well that morning, and brought a couple of Cliff bars. So far, so good. Got to Boyette, introduced myself, and asked which was the slowest group going to the Abyss. My goal was to ride the Abyss, but not alone. Sounds smart right? The day was full of good intentions, and poor choices. Everyone with SWAMP was GREAT! Very nice and helpful. Kenny led our group of 17 riders at a good pace, no problems…so far. I had not ridden Boyette in at least five years, WOW what a difference! We pretty much rode every trail that was between the parking lot and the Abyss. By the time I got to North Abyss, I was feeling pretty beat. I started that section and loved it. I could feel my legs going quickly. We stopped before starting the South Abyss. Fatigue was setting in, but my whole point in coming, was to ride THIS trail. We started the South section and less than half way through, I could tell my body was not up to the challenge. I did the right thing and bailed out near the benches. From there we rode more trails. I passed on the harder route of a newer trail (Spider Berm I think). Then we did the East Meadow and the Northeast palmetto trail. I was having a problem at this point, but was trying to gut it out. I was about middle of the pack and averaging about 10-11 mph when I couldn’t keep the pace with the lead group any more. I lost sight of them through the palmettos and then took a wrong turn. I popped out on the double track and knew I was not in the right place. I checked my GPS and retraced my track back into the woods, found the trail and made sure I wasn’t going back the way I came. By then the trailing group had passed me and I was alone. I had never ridden that trail before and really had no idea how much further it was. I kept trudging along until I got to the double track before the Northwest section. Luckily, the group was waiting for me (thank you). I tried to stay right behind the last rider with the sweeper behind me. We got to the end and I asked for the quickest way back to the parking lot. Barry took pity on me and led me back. Having him ride with me really helped. By now I was cramping, I had a headache and was feeling a little sick to my stomach. I made it back, and Barry gave me a Gatorade (damn, it was good!). Thanks again Barry. Then the group got back and Kenny came and checked on me. I was embarrassed, but appreciated the check. What does all of this mean….well, I’ll tell you. Do not freeze more than half of your Camelbak. Despite it being almost a hundred degrees and high humidity, when I got home, my Camelbak was still almost half full with a block of ICE! For three hours of riding I was only able to drink less than 50 ounces of water. By not having enough water, I did not eat during our breaks. Drinking beer and fueling up on Taco Bell the night before, was probably not a good idea. Although my whole point in going was to ride Abyss with someone, I should have asked what our total mileage was going to be. I think we did 17.5 miles. That was more than double my longest ride and we rode at a faster pace than I usually ride on my own. After the Abyss, I should have checked my Camelbak and probably bailed at that point. On the ride back, several people offered up some water and at that point I was too embarrassed to accept. I should have taken the offer. When I realized I was having a problem, I should have moved to the back of the pack, told Dave (our sweeper), and ridden the rest of the ride with him. I am sure there are other lessons to be learned from my mistakes, but hopefully someone will avoid the same problems.