|MY HUSBAND & ME BEFORE THE RIDE|
STARTED AND WHILE I WAS STILL HAPPY!
As we headed out that morning, it was a frigid 40 degrees. We had registered for 50 miles, so we were to ride two different 25 mile loops. We headed out for the first loop hoping for warmer temperatures sooner than later. I'm positive this was my coldest ride yet since I've started riding. Yes, I'm whining! I hate the cold and it doesn't exactly make it any better when you're on a bike with the wind in your face.
The first miles were relatively easy and flat. Once again, I said "the first miles". After so many miles in, I thought I was on the wrong ride early. I know I've contemplated doing the Hilly Hundred, an extremely hilly, 2 day ride in October again this year, but I questioned whether someone cheated and copied some routes.
|SOMEONE KNEW I WAS COMING AND PUT|
OUT SIGNS JUST FOR ME! HOW CONVENIENT!
We encounter this hill and I'm pedaling with all of my strength. Obviously my strength was not what this hill wanted. It wanted me to change my gears, you know, those things most people know how to operate properly and efficiently BEFORE they go out on a 50 mile bike ride while not knowing the route elevation changes.
Of course, this is probably the biggest hill I've ever attempted after finally taking the plunge and going clipless. You know where this is going, don't you? In the mere second I mentally address that my bike is no longer progressing forward and only about to fall sideways, I manage a miraculous getaway out of my pedals, all after expressing a few expletives. Sorry to those who had to hear it. Yes, I witnessed you, the one with the unapproving glare. That's OK, what I actually said was way less harsh than what I actually thinking.
After, I made my great escape, I felt it was in my bike's best interest for me to finish the rest of the lovely incline on foot. I think this particular situation had to occur one to two more times, in the exact same order: hill, almost fall over-but didn't, walk the hill, before I eventually figured out how to prevent this "disaster waiting to happen".
When the hills weren't an issue, I would play with the gears hoping to find a resolution for my ignorance. Thankfully, for my sake and most importantly the bike's, we came to a compromise. I'm positive my gear changing abilities are not up to par with Lance Armstrong, but at least I finally got to ride up some of the last hills versus walk.
I know, you want to know how I got through 160 miles on the R.A.I.N. Ride, without knowing how to properly change my gears. Honestly, I had never thought about it until now. Obviously, there must not have been any significant hills. When I did R.A.I.N. & the Hilly Hundred last year, I had done it on a hybrid that had "gears for dummies". There were little numbers on the top and they were easily changeable.......by people like me. I had just replaced my hybrid with my road bike this year back in late March before doing the R.A.I.N. this year, and have yet to do any rides with significant elevations changes, thank goodness.
|THE .4 MILES WAS ABSOLUTELY UNNECESSARY.|
I WAS READY TO GO HOME......AND SLEEP.
If I had known at mile 25, what I knew at mile 35, I would have stopped at mile 25 and headed home. Were there more hills? Actually, no. Loop 2 was a relatively flat and easy route. What I didn't know, was that the wind speed would increase up to 29 miles per hour and the there would be wind gusts up to 36 miles.
In addition to the very unwanted and unnecessary resistance training, for whatever reason my quads were on fire and my saddle was not serving my rear end very well either, 2 issues that are rare for me. I don't know what was wrong with me, as I have been on the bike this past summer numerous times and have yet to endure either issue until this past weekend. My only guess is that the combination of hills, wind & my recent marathon have wore me out and I need to take it easy. Oh, wait a minute, I think my knees have already screamed that out loud.