A slice of humble pie

I pulled on my bright green chili pepper socks. I purposefully selected these exact socks for this ride because I was already feeling rocket-hot and I hadn’t even left the house!

This past Sunday I packed up my gear and drove out to the country for a small organized ride (3 others who also are training for our 545 mile ride in the AIDS/LifeCycle).

The weather was utterly fantastic, a cool start and warming up to 75 degrees F. The sun peeked through the clouds as the wind picked up just a little. It felt so good to get outside and ride my bike again after last weekend’s disappointing outcome and I even saw the beginning of the wild flowers coming out too! It was just a hint, but a clear indication that Spring is around the corner.

20mph_curve

I was soaking it up, and we were FLYING! Well, I felt like we were flying.

19, 20, 22 mph!

It feels pretty amazing when you can go faster than the recommended speed on local signage.

I was feeling like hot stuff. I never ride that fast, but this day was special, and I WAS CRANKING IT OUT!

Until I wasn’t.

We stopped at a local gas for a quick rest and snack before heading out for the last 10 miles of this 40 mile loop. The plan was to head back out for another 16 for a 56 mile day.

I mounted my bike and we headed down the road. We turned the corner, right into the headwind and my legs screamed in outrage!

Oh, right. I don’t ride 19, 20, or 22 mph. Ever. That was a tailwind and somehow I didn’t realize it. Now it was time to pay my dues for the earlier speed fest.

I should have known, it is always more windy in February. And there isn’t much to slow a huge headwind barreling down the grassy fields while riding out in the country. But I was chili pepper hot! And clueless.

35 miles, I knew there would be no second loop for me.

38 miles, the countdown began. Just 2 more miles until the car (and the glorious chocolate milk at the car that was beckoning my return).

39.2 miles… just keep spinning.

39.7… you’re going to make it. Just move your legs. It doesn’t matter how slow. Just Move Your Legs.

40 miles. Car. Chocolate milk. And a hug from my team leader. I needed that.

To be fair, it was one of the fastest rides I’ve accomplished! Average speed was 15.2 which is ~2 mph faster than I was last year. It’s great progress! Hard earned progress.

I’ll be back at it next week, more miles, but not nearly as fast. And thats okay. It’s not a race, it’s a ride. And the purpose of the ride isn’t about my speed, its about the cause. Good reminders.

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SAG, but not Saggy

Today is another drizzly riding day, but I’m staying dry in my car as I am volunteering for SAG support in a training ride series I participate in. SAG is an acronym for Support And Gear. Today I will be part of the vehicle support team that can help carry tire pumps, medical kits, and can transport cyclists back to the start if they run into mechanical trouble or just run out of steam.

I’ll admit that I would rather be on my bike with everyone else, but I’m so appreciative for others who volunteer thier time to support all the rides that I have been on so I feel great that I can give a little of that bike love back to others.

But not to worry, I’ll be back in the saddle logging the miles tomorrow. And tomorrow is already looking like a lovely spring day in Texas!

Ride on!

Advice Received: Spinning my wheels

Yesterday I moaned heavily about missing a training day due to rain, and instead I went to spin class. As we discussed spin class is just not my thing.

Today the rain has passed and I celebrated by heading outside for a great day!

Now, after a 1.8 mile ride I’m driving an hour back home.

It’s 36 degrees with a 16 mph headwind and 89% humidity. I’ve been informed that the feels like temperature is 26 degrees. Let’s be honest, mother nature just schooled me big time! Living in Texas, I’m not appropriately prepared for these conditions no matter what my pride says.

So I’ve found my motivation to go back to spin class.

Advice asked, advice received. Thanks mother nature. It’s just what I needed.

Advice Needed: Spinning my wheels

Rain, Rain, Go Away.

This is the 3rd Saturday in a row of training rides that have been rained out, and I’m starting to feel the crunch against my training plan for my 545 mile ride from San Fransisco to LA this coming June (the Ride to End AIDS!). So I did the unthinkable (for me).

I went to Spin Class.

Spin Class is an incredible workout! It is hard, effective for training, and I hate everything about it. Not just a mild dislike, but a full on 60 minutes of loathing.

I love riding my bike because I get to be outside, to see nature, feel the breeze, hear the sounds of birds chirping and the wind rustling tree leaves. I get to make friends with nature! The fact that I can propel myself somewhere brings me a sense of incredible freedom and joy.

Spin class takes all those wonderful things about bike riding and shoves it outside the gym doors.

  1. IT’S HARD. I get that this is the point. But if we are being honest, I never work as hard as i do in spin class on a normal ride.
  2. NO COASTING. This makes me so sad. If you stop pedaling your bike in spin class, your computer/metrics-counter and the wheel just flat-out stop. There is no hum of a tire coasting on the road to celebrate your past efforts. Just the sound of silence (not in a pleasant Simon and Garfunkel way either).
  3. YOU DON’T GO ANYWHERE. All that sprinting and you end up right where you started.
  4. YOU’RE INSIDE A GYM. No nature to take in, no sights to see except my own ugly, exercise face in a huge mirror. Could we at least point the bikes toward a window?

I will admit that the music was cool today. Mardi Gras themed Zydeco music for the occasion. So there was my silver lining.

Anyway,  tell me, guide me, teach me please! How do you motivate to get through spin class when the rain clouds are around?

ALC 2018: Get on your bike

AIDS/LifeCycle, 2018: in just 5 months I will be riding 545 miles from San Fransisco to LA. And it is going to ROCK!

But, right now it feels a little daunting to start training again. I’ve been doing a few rides here and there, but now is the time to get serious and get the training plan together!

  • Step 1. Get on your bike! I had planned for a ride today, but was rained out and the ride was cancelled.
  • Step 2. Eventually you’re going to have to ride in the rain. But today was not that day.

So here is to remembering beautiful weather back in December and fingers crossed for better weather tomorrow.

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