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    MINNA72   69,621
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A Practice Ride Before Sunday's Race

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I can't believe that I am 5 days away from my very first bike race. I am NOT a cyclist!

Well, not yet.

Am I ready for the race? Not really. Will I go ahead with it? HELL YES!

60 kilometers. 37 miles. That is 25 kilometers longer than my longest ride. Until two days ago, that is. That is when I decided to give it a test run (ride?). I checked out the route online (and quickly realized this must be the crappiest map in existence - here, see for yourself: scale it down to 50 % to get the whole route into the image and then imagine it viewed on the screen of a HTC smart phone. The route is marked with a blue line.

It doesn't help that I am directionally challenged... emoticon


I decked out in the gear I will use on Sunday, did a last minute adjustment on one of my shoes (I've got clipless) filled up my water bottle and off I went.

The race starts from the center of the city and I assume the roads will be closed off for traffic on race day so intersections and traffic jams won't be an issue. Two days ago this caused me some delays. On the upside I got to practice getting my foot in and out of the pedal; hopefully one day it will become second nature and I won't have to run down a mental list of things to do before every stop, just to avoid crashing.

With the sun beating down on me and with a comfortable 20 degrees celsius (68F) and a brisk tailwind, I set out north.

God, I love the feeling of speed. Of being one with the bike, to feel it respond to my slightest movement. This could easily become an addiction.

The route goes in a loop, which means that the tailwind I had going out, became crosswind and headwind on the way back. Not as much fun, I must admit. This was also compounded by the fact that the normally flat-as-a-pancake terrain in and around Uppsala, became rolling hills the further north I got. But, hey, I got a reason to switch gears! And a couple of times I even did standing hill climbs! Wohooo! emoticon

Note to self: keep figuring out different ways to breathe through your mouth when your nose is congested (allergies), because those bugs didn't taste so yummy.

After 1.5 hours I was kind of thinking that a shower and a lie-down on the couch sounded pretty good. I was also standing up on the bike every now and then, just for the heck of it, even with no hills in sight. Um, yes, sore. And it wasn't even my ass, per se, but my pelvic floor. Sore muscles I know how to treat, but sore BONES?

Another note to self: when you're going to sit back down on the saddle remember that your tights have padding that likes to get caught on the tip of the saddle, thus pulling your tights down a bit. Smooth. LIFT YOUR ASS before sliding onto the saddle!

After two hours I was totally, utterly and completely OVER this experience. The sign that said UPPSALA 8 KM, was a most welcome sight, believe me.

I got home, stumbled off the bike, got inside on trembling legs (my calves felt weak as day-old kittens) and crashed on the couch. And quickly reverted to lying down, because OUCH. And didn't move much for the rest of the evening.

2:23 is the time to beat, come Sunday. Well, I can HARDLY do worse, right? emoticon I didn't adjust the time for traffic delays or the three stops to consult the crappy map, so there is definitely room for improvement.

But I did it. And I can do it again. And again. And I WILL. Just watch me.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:


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TEENY_BIKINI 5/12/2011 8:59PM

    That is so totally awesome! You go rock star!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 5/12/2011 2:29PM

    Way to GO!!! I'm so proud of you! And inspired by you! I can't wait to hear about your weekend!!!

I have had a few rides that I have loved. However, I've had some that I have hated, too. Like last night! For one thing, I need my bike adjusted! I'm just aching too much. And, I much prefer a group ride...or at least some fun hills.. than my boring neighborhood!!

But, I'm so proud of you & excited for you! Have a wonderful time!

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TWNOMWE 5/12/2011 8:45AM

Great job on practice run. emoticon . You will beat the time on race day.
Good luck.

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SEASONS_CHANGE 5/11/2011 10:08PM

    Good luck on the race. Hopefully, someone will be taking pictures!

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MOSTMOM1 5/10/2011 7:32PM

    I just had sympathy butt pains for you, Minna. But wow, you're killing it! Please post a pic of you at the end of the race, looking all victorious.

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ABSOLUTZER0 5/10/2011 3:22PM

    You are always KILLING IT! This practice ride was just the beginning. You are going to have an awesome race! I do not expect anything less of you!

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DDOORN 5/10/2011 2:47PM

    Addiction...? You BET! Sounds like you are WAY PAST serious!

Standing in the saddle now & then can really make a difference. A seasoned cyclist told me in my earlier cycling days: "you need to ride lightly" to avoid a sore butt and anything else down there...! Intermittently I'll just flex my legs not into a full stand, but just to relieve the weight that bears on the saddle. Haven't yet had any problems this year, but have only ridden up to 40-50 miles.

You are just gonna ROCK this RACE!! Can't wait to hear all about it!


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BABYTUXXY 5/10/2011 2:13PM

    Way to go! I've just got a new bike myself and was wondering if there was a point when your bottom toughens up to it! How else can so many people enjoy riding all the time!! emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/10/2011 1:37PM

    Congratulations on your practice ride...I bet it will make the "real" one much easier.

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PSALM42 5/10/2011 12:41PM

    lol, my butt hurts just thinking about that. good luck!

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READYRACHEL 5/10/2011 12:27PM

    That is beyond awesome. I am so proud of you! You will do great on race day.

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JONEIL513 5/10/2011 10:44AM

    You're going to do great!

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FITSPIRATION 5/10/2011 8:42AM

  emoticon emoticon
You are going to do great. Just follow the other cyclists.
And competion will push you harder! Good luck, pls take pics and share!

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MNCYCLIST 5/10/2011 8:32AM

    Yes, you will do it again, and you'll do well. And by the way, getting in and out of the pedals will indeed become second nature. I fell two or three times when I was getting used to mine but now I snap out without even thinking about it. Great idea to practice this bit, and best of luck to you!

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