Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Bike - First Ride

I picked up my new road bike last night. The nice young man at Valley Bike and Ski taught me how to clip in to my Shimano SPD pedals. It took me awhile to figure it out but I got the hang of it enough to feel like I could practice more at home and do fine. And, since I know just about nothing about riding a road bike, he then showed me how to shift my Shimano 105s, the gear shift things on my handlebars. He answered more questions for me, helped me pick out a bike bag, filled my tires and helped me load my new bike and Owen's in my van.

To say I was excited is an understatement. Excited and nervous and also wondering a bit of what I've gotten myself into. Remember, I only started riding bike for real last summer when I bought a helmet and decided to ride the 30 mile Jesse James Bike Tour in September (you can read about this adventure if you click here). I rode regularly for a month to prepare for the ride on my old Specialized hybrid bike and finished the ride averaging about 10 mph. I kind of liked riding and wanted to do more rides so I decided to purchase a road bike last fall. So I did. And now I have a bike and I sure hope I like riding it because Owen and I have pretty much committed ourselves to this sport now that we bought two new bikes and a lot of stuff to go along with them.

So, late this afternoon after we got home from an Earth Dog event with our pup, Rocket, (more on that another time) we pulled out the bikes and readied them for a short test hop. Determined to clip in to my pedals on my own (I'm independent to a fault sometimes), I put on my shoes, got my bike, stood next to the garage and clipped in my first shoe. Not too bad. Now for the next shoe. I attempted to reach out my arm to steady myself on the garage and, you guessed it, promptly fell over. Rather ungracefully I must add. Skinned my knee and scraped my gear shifter thingy (the hood on my left side? I don't have all the terminology down yet). Oh well. I must have looked funny falling over in slow motion. Rose watched me tip over. At least she didn't laugh, she seemed genuinely concerned. I tried again. This time Owen held the bike for me and I clipped in and rode off. I've since clipped in and out a few times and haven't toppled over. Progress.

Owen, the kids and I rode around our neighborhood for about 15 minutes. Though I can tell I'll have to make some adjustments, I can already tell that riding this road bike is much easier than riding my hybrid. The thing goes fast with hardly any effort at all. It was a struggle for me to average 10 mph on my last ride of the season last year but just I was going 9 mph around my neighborhood and barely working. Cool.

Those of you who know me well know that I'm slow to adjust to new things - getting used to riding a road bike is going to be a challenge for me. I'm leaning way forward compared to my road bike, I'm sure that my reach isn't right, that my shoulders feel funny, that my wrist is bothering me a bit - and I forgot to breathe. I do that when I try new things. It's not a positive thing, not breathing. It's something I have to work on. But I'll get the breathing and the biking figured out. I have to - the Iron Man is just a month away and I am planning to ride the 30 mile ride. I rode 2 miles today, much of it while holding my breath. I have work to do!

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