So out I went to the ride, and I got dropped. I just was not strong enough today. But it was okay. Once I accepted it, I had a nice pleasant ride through the woods. And I was able to take a shortcut back and position myself to get some good rider photos as they exited the woods. Any fear I had of ridicule that I had for getting dropped was soon dispelled. As it turns out, everyone respects you for coming out and making a good try of it. And had I stayed home I would have missed a good ride and good post ride camaraderie.
I do not think I will fear getting dropped again, as long as I am familiar with the area. I know that I can expect if I get in on a ride that is over my head, but that is the start of getting better.