Yep, that snazzy blue and white bike.
Yes, a triathlete, afraid of her bike. I don't know exactly how I got here, but I hadn't ridden at all this year, other than a few rides on the trainer in the late winter/early spring. Last year I had a tough year on the bike. I got repeated flats. I fell. A lot. I had a difficult time with the traffic, and encountered more than my share of rude and dangerous drivers. I never felt comfortable on any ride, and combined with the lack of sleep that year I never really had the mental toughness to just "get over" that particular hill.
The bike has always been the piece of triathlon I felt least comfortable with, and I doubt I'll ever do an Iron distance race because I just don't have the desire to spend that much time in the saddle. I hadn't really ever ridden a road bike, prior to 2005, and the few times I had were also bad experiences. So it took a lot of gumption for me to buy a road bike and start riding it, and even more to switch to clipless pedals and get locked into the metal monster. My very first ride I stole out before 6AM, to avoid the traffic, and my hands shook the entire time. Eventually I did learn to come to some peace with my bike, and enjoy the speed, the views, the comradeship. I even discovered the thrill of flying down a hill at 40 mph and came to grips with my cycling shoes and pedals. Still, a long long break from something you never felt entirely at home with, after more bad experiences than the two years prior, and you can see how the monster in my mind kept growing in size.
But, I do want to race again. Next year will be my return to tri-ing, which means cycling is mandatory. I also can't run right now and I am working hard on improving my base fitness and losing weight. As soon as the chiro gave me the no-running mandate I knew the time had come to face the bike.
And so, this morning around 7:30AM, after planning my pre-ride and ride with the detail and precision of a campaign, plus a small meltdown at 7 when I couldn't find my favorite cycling shorts, my bike and I got re-acquainted. It was a nice visit. I surprised myself with how comfortable I felt out and around, although my bike fitness is absolutely nil. My legs had nothing and my hammies made themselves known shortly into the ride. I am/was already a fairly slow cyclist, but with strong enough legs and enough fitness that I could make a good speed on flats, but really slowed down in any kind of terrain. That extra weight I'm hauling around made even the flats slow, and little rises slower.
I broke no land speed or distance records, and I needed to stop a couple of times, but I did it, and the next ride is scheduled in the calendar that is my head.
It's good to be making my way back.
Labels: A Good Year, cycling, mojo