My Not So Glorious Return to Biking

Remember when I got a bike and was in love?

Well, since then, I’ve stopped riding for fun and worked up in my mind that I don’t like cycling, that it’s hard, that I’m not good and that it’s just something I put up with for the glory of being a triathlete. (But, I’m *fingers crossed* doing another kind of triathlon this summer that doesn’t include biking, it includes awesome!)

Red Rock released the course map for my upcoming triathlon, and while it has the same start location as my last one (we lack for water a bit here in the desert, in case you hadn’t heard), the run and bike portions are different, which I’m excited about because I didn’t want to just do two loops of the same course, but the bike course looks intimidating!

I started considering dropping to the sprint distance. I wondered who I could convince to do the bike part for me relay-style. Then someone’s who pretty good with the harsh truths said something to the effect of, “why don’t you just start riding your bike more? You’re a good swimmer, so skip some of those workouts and take your bike out and actually ride.”

I’ve been trainering and spinning it up and the bike hasn’t seen natural sunlight in quite some time.

Unfortunately, it had flat tires. Not for lack of trying, I have NO IDEA how to fill my tires. I got all the right equipment, but couldn’t make the adapter and the pump and the tire work together. So, and I have no problem admitting this, I put on my best cute, but helpless girl act and took my tire into a bike shop to learn. To learn…I wasn’t just expecting someone to do it for me!

They showed me the front tire and told me how much to pump it up and told me to check the pressure before each ride, especially as it’s getting warmer…oh, so you mean, the fact that this is the first time I’ve filled them in a year is not a good thing?

Once I did the back tire on my own, I took it out for my first ride on Thursday and I rode very slowly up hills and I have no clue about the gears and at one point my chain fell off. It was not pretty, but I got it done.

I reminded myself that it was training and I was preparing my body for wonderful things (because if I had considered it a workout, it would have just been torture). It took me about 52 minutes to do 10 miles, so at that pace I realize I’m going to be on the bike for way too damn long during the race, but I’m building up my mileage for the next two weeks and I know I’ll at least get it done, regardless if it’s pretty or fast or whatever else.

Fixing My Bike…and Putting Off My Brick

I was so excited for my brick that I couldn’t sleep any longer.  Just kidding…I have no clue why I’m up so darn early.  I do have quite a to-do list for the day, but no one told my brain that ideally it doesn’t kick off until 8.  Oh well. 

I could have started earlier, because I got the adapter piece for my bike pump yesterday – and then wandered around the store for 10 more minutes trying to remember the other thing I needed before giving up, only to remember two hours later that it was ear drops…the pool water in my ears is obviously affecting my memory – but unfortunately, I either have no clue how to use the adapter piece (because it’s not working like the guy said) or my tube is actually wrecked, not just flat. 

Remember that time I took a bike maintenance 101 class at the local REI?  Yeah, me neither.  In my defense, it was kind of geared toward people who had at least a bit of a clue about anything bike-related, call it a 201 class, where I needed more of a remedial lesson.

There was one guy in the class who was terribly sexist in just about everything he said, which earned him quite a few eye rolls and groans from the women there, but he did say that the good old boys at his bike shop would pretty much do anything for female cyclists since the poor, little things can’t do much for themselves. 

(No need to point out the obvious here, that I apparently can’t do these things for myself…I just want someone to teach me so I can do it next time.  I’ll listen this time, promise.)

The good news is, I’m female!  Yay!  The bad news is, I might have to either go back in time or to the backwoods for that treatment, but I suppose it’s worth a shot. 

Add it to the to-do list!  The morning news just turned to cartoons, so I can’t procrastinate it anymore…let’s brick!

Joule-ish

If I sit still for a second longer, I’m going to go nuts.  I’m ready to burn off some of this energy I didn’t know I’d find this afternoon based on the sloooow start to my morning.

The plan:  20 impromptu (does that still count since I kinda just planned them?) minutes running on the tread + strength training + sunblock + 45 minutes on my new-to-me bike

Recovery:  dark chocolate soy milk + rolling + stretching + maybe some ice

I think I’m in love…with Friday afternoons.

*Geek high-five to the physics nuts out there who get the post title!

New To Me

I got a new toy/hobby/way to cross train/lover.  Want to guess what it is?!

Give up?  It’s a new (to me) bike, silly!  Meet Meyer: 

He sleeps inside by my dirty laundry.  Now if he could only make himself useful and actually learn to DO my laundry. 

Our “how we met” story is coming soon, as well as tales of my adventures! 

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. – H.G. Wells

You’re welcome, H.G., you are welcome.