Last night, I took the new bike out for her inaugural outdoor ride. (Yes, it’s a “she” I’ve decided. She IS rocking a teal/blue color scheme, you know.)
My office closed early due to our move (YAY NEW OFFICE!), so when I got home it was still light out…and surprisingly the temperature wasn’t freezing! So, I layered up with a long-sleeved running fleece, a second long sleeved dri-fit top, and a light jacket. I wore my comfy injinji socks from Ragnar Adirondacks (which kept my toes super warm, by the way!), my Specialized cycling shoes, and some gloves. (My coach tells me that when riding in cold weather, the temperature can feel as though it’s 15-20 degrees cooler.) Of course, this does not translate into the hot weather. It will still feel freakin’ HOT in July in Lake Placid!
Super excited yet slightly terrified, I brought my bike outside, hobbled to the end of my driveway in my funny shoes, strapped on my helmet, and took a deep breath. Literally. I was anxious about trying a road bike on the actual road for the first time, not to mention riding in clip-in shoes! And the tires on a road bike are so tiny! Nerve-wracking. In my head I kept repeating “don’t forget to clip out at the stoplight. DON’T FORGET TO CLIP OUT AT THE STOPLIGHT.” I swung my right foot over the frame. As I lifted my right foot up and clipped in, I realized I was leaning a little too far to the right while on a slight hill.
I toppled over before I even got my left foot in.
I have scrapes on my knee to prove it. I don’t think any of my neighbors saw but if they did I’m sure they were cracking up. Yikes.
Lesson learned! Lean towards the direction of the unclipped foot. Check. Good thing I didn’t fall on my fractured left foot!
I dusted off my pride that was shattered on the driveway and headed toward a trail near my house for one reason: it’s a straight shot and there are no cars and few people this time of year. I wanted lots of space! Let me tell you…road bikes are totally different than mountain bikes or hybrids. I didn’t realize HOW different until I got on. They feel so much more wobbly, the brakes are out on the handlebars, and I basically feel like I’m starting from scratch. I can’t even ride without my hands right now! Rats. Not that I need to be showing off my no-handedness…but, you know. It’s fun!
Regardless of my inexperience on a road bike, the ride was great! It was such a smooth ride and shifting gears was easy. I tried unclipping and clipping back in, braking from different positions on the handlebars, and drinking from my water bottle. Seriously guys…it takes a few minutes to get used to the different motions! Even looking to one direction can cause the bike to veer that way; it’s extremely important to be careful and to work on keeping balance while looking in another direction or grabbing something like a water bottle. I always felt really comfortable on every other bike I’ve ridden, but I guess because the road bike is so much lighter, it’s a lot more “touchy”. Does that make sense? Guess that’s another reason to work on a strong core! (Are you wondering how I’m going to do an Ironman in July? I’m wondering too. Hopefully I’m as fast a learner as I think.)
If all of you experienced cyclists and triathletes are giggling at my lack of savvy cycling skillz, that’s cool…just don’t tell me. Some of my pride is still out there on the driveway! Just send along your secrets, please.
Eventually my face started feeling as though it was freezing off, so I headed back in just as the sun was setting.
My ride outside lasted 30 minutes. When I got back home I locked the bike back up on the trainer and finished my scheduled workout. I rode for about 5 minutes to warm back up and then did 6 x 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy. I followed that with a cool down to round out the day with 50 minutes of cycling. It was so wonderful to get outside, minus the whole freezing face thing. How many days until Spring? I have a 2 hour and 30 minute ride on Saturday and I’m hoping I can do it in Prospect Park since I have to go to Brooklyn for work. We shall see!
And now, as a Friday present, I give you the funniest video ever. Did you know goats can scream like humans? I cry watching this. There’s also a few others but this is one of my favs.
P.S. My parents are going to Hawaii today. Without me. (No, I’m not jealous…what makes you think that?) Safe travels, Mom & Dad! Don’t worry, they promised to share a “photo of the day” with me everyday, which I will then share with you so we can all pretend like we are there. If any of you are already there (or anywhere tropical) basking in the sun, you should probably also send me a photo of the day. Please and thank you!