Friday, July 27, 2012
Wow! I feel so out of my element! I just came back from the bike shop and feel completely unprepared for this ride. I literally do not know what I am doing.
I have been thinking about doing a sprint triathlon for about a year. I found one locally for September and thought I better get practicing. Of all the 3 events, I am only a runner - not a cyclist or swimmer. Needless to say, I need to practice!!! I have no one to ask questions about these sports - most my family/friends are inactive.
So, I bought a bike at a garage sale and have been riding this bike once/a week for 2 weeks. It is a crummy bike and the tires go flat after 1.5 miles, so I ride around a short distance and return to my car to air up the tires. It is CRAZY!!. I signed up for a charity bike ride -- thought, I need to get a real bike.
First let me say, "real" road bikes are sooo expensive. I went to the store with a $300 budget and of course, nothing is at that price. Not even used bikes. However, they did say I could rent a road bike. I said GREAT!!
Today, I went to rent my bike. Their normal demo road bikes were all rented but the store had a used road bike for rent for $30. They let me ride it around the store - I didn't even know how to put my feet in the clips . And these bikes have low brakes - not like the older schwinn I have been riding. I thought I was going to fall over in the store - and I think I am going to do this for 17 miles. I am crazy!! On the plus side, if I like this used bike, I can buy it for $500. Which apparently is a fair price.
Once off the bike in the store, I was looking for the kickstand. The store clerk told me when you move up in bike they don't have kickstands. He didn't make me feel stupid, but boy did I! Then to top it off, he was going to help me with my seat height. Once again, I was clueless on the correct positioning of my legs to determine seat height. I felt so uneducated in everything I should probably already know.
Oh boy, I am really nervous now. I have been so excited about this ride but just one trip to the bike store enlighten me that I don't know what I am doing!!! Then when I am checking out at the register, I tell the clerk that I am doing the charity bike ride. He was very supportive and said people had been in all day to get ready for it. I said out loud -- get ready??? What does that look like? I am just going to show up with my rented bike that I have never ridden before.
Oh well.... life is an adventure and as long as I don't fall over, get hit by another cyclist or car, I plan to have fun and just enjoy the experience.
On a side note, I am going to do some research tonight because I am not even really sure what to wear, if music earbud are allowed or how long this 17 miles is going to take me.
Wish me luck!!
Post Race/Ride - I did indeed last to finish. Right after the start, I watched everyone get further and further away from me. I was pedaling hard and going about 11 mph (speed computer on the bike). I knew I would be slower but didn't expect to be soooo much slower than everyone else. A fellow cyclist got a flat tire and had to pull over and when he passed me.. he said I was pedaling too much for not going faster. He was sooo nice!! He talked me through changing my gears. He was doing the 60 mile event while I was doing the 17 mile event, so we had to part ways when his turn off appeared. I was able to get up to 18 mph!!! It was nice ride once I was in gear!!