Since being injured, I have logged a lot of saddle time; however it was all in the comfort of my own living room. No cars to deal with, bumpy roads to navigate, or worries about cranking my head off a curb. And I could simply reach onto the shelf next to me to grab my water bottle.
Today I decided to take cupid outside for the first time since I did my 70.3 in September. Alone. Scary stuff my friends, scary stuff.
- why does bike attire have to be so damn tight; I look ridiculous. And no, the ridiculousness has nothing to do with my hot pink compression socks.
- what number is my bike pump supposed to read when I put air in the tires? I 60? 90? Gah, I don't have to worry about this when I run!
- hmmmm.. I hope I remembered to change the Garmin to cycling instead of running. Otherwise my watch will think I turned Kenyan overnight.
- I should have come up with a more solid plan for a route.. I guess I'll just stay on this road until it ends, and make a decision at that point..
- shhhhhhhhhhhhiiiitttt I hate cracks in the road.. although the way I white-knuckle my handlebars is borderline impressive..
- I want to throw my bike cleat at that happy runner girl across the street. She looks significantly less frightened than I feel right now. And she's singing. If I try singing, I'll tip over because I'll lose focus.
- Another hill? What is that searing pain in my.. Oh right, those would be my quads. For big muscles, they sure do bitch a lot.
- no - not a school bus.. nononononono! I cannot remember to unclip and stop and NOT fall over every 50 yards the bus decides to pick up more kids.
- how on earth do real cyclists have the confidence to reach down and drink from a water bottle? I've just spent the last 10 minutes working up the confidence to remove my white knuckles from the handlebars and reach down to retrieve said bottle. Nevermind putting it back. Without ending up in some guys front lawn.
- are those ClifBloks in my bike box? Have those been there since September? I'm so disgusting.
- okay, a long flat stretch of road. just get comfortable, take a breath, and OH SHIT! A squirrel!!!! Those little rats should look both ways before crossing.
- that would be the third flying bug I've consumed today. I wonder if vegetarians spit out the bugs..
- was that my Garmin just alerting me that I've gone 20 miles? What town am I even IN? I should probably start heading back home soon.
- legs, if you get me home, I will feed you lots of oatmeal. And neck, if you don't seize up in the next hour, I promise to not torture you again for the rest of the day.
- yay - I know this road!!! I'm getting close to home.. I MIGHT actually survive!!!
I made it back home in one piece. My first ride out this year was a hilly, 35 mile route. Cupid was good to me - she didn't kick me off at any point mid-ride, responded well to my commands, and kept my nether regions in one piece.
Cycling and I are still very much a work in progress; I have serious confidence issues out on the roads, I have a lot of work to do on my bike handling skills, and we won't even begin to talk about my fear of riding in big groups. I'm well aware that if I ever want to tackle an Ironman, this is the discipline that needs the most time devoted to it. The upside is that given my "stats" of todays ride, I know the bike fitness is there. It's about logging the saddle time, and figuring out how to make riding fun.
|During Pumpkinman - not the look of fear/focus on my face.|
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to map out a route for my next ride.