So, Friday night was a birthday dinner for a friend of mine. The restaurant is 8 miles away, so it would be 16 all together. Lee suggested we bike ride there. I found out later he was only half serious, but I said, okay. This was my first long bike ride, on real roads. especially on this, my first road bike, which I've yet to feel as comfortable on as I did on my cruiser.
We started riding there at 6. I was wearing my lycra workout shorts to help try to avoid some of the pain my seat had caused me on our 8 mile TOTAL bike ride the weekend before. In my backpack I had packed some regular clothes.
On the way there I started feeling like bike was occasionally losing its grip on the chain when I was going really fast. It turns out that this is called "spinning out" and its because I at the time was only able to use lower gears and was just spinning to fast for it to keep up with. It was fine, but it made me feel kind of anxious when it happened, like I was sort of free falling.
We stopped a few times to look at this, but decided it was acceptable and kept going.
On the way to the restaurant what was scary was being in traffic, and trying to keep up with Lee. Going fast makes each crack or raised area in the road feel jarring to me, on my skinny tires.
The dinner itself was really great. It was at one of the Japanese restaurants where they cook the food in front of you with great flare. It was actually pretty delicious and a lot of fun! People gave me some looks but it was alright by me.
Afterward I felt resolved and brave and turned down a couple offers to get a ride back.
HOWEVER, a think I HADN'T realized is the road we were taking had no street lights, and it was dark now. There were far less cars, but it was so dark. On top of THAT it was REALLY WINDY!!! On a bike this means you are fighting to stay going the direction you want.
So, luckily I was just going straight so I just kept peddling, watching Lee's red light in front of me, and did my best to not let the wind influence my heading, especially since I was trying to stay in a bike lane. Like I said, there were few cars so that part wasn't a big issue, but it felt very stressful to me.
When we got home my eyes were beet red from getting dirt in them and not being able to do anything about it, and I felt like I'd been through something traumatic.
Soon enough, I felt calmed down, and (eventually) kind of proud of having done it.
Lee told me how proud he was of me for getting through a much tougher ride than we had intended. Honestly, the distance part was the far lowest thing on my list of difficulties that night. I am looking forward to some day doing a bike ride that just has to deal with distance and not with Car stress, road condition stress, bike stress, wind stress, darkness.
Oh, and Saturday we went to the community run bike cooperative and my seat was adjusted a little bit: moved forward a bit and down a bit. After the ordeal of Friday night I didnt feel much like testing it out, but just from the short ride home I feel optimistic that this adjustment could make 1) my crotch pain go away and 2) my comfort and feeling of being more control on the bike much better.
Sunday was a beautiful day and we went on a hike. It was lovely at the top and we enjoyed the view and talked.
Lee and I both want to start watching our diets, and getting more active. It makes me happy to know he's got an interest in this, too, because I think that will really help me to get my impulse snacking temptation minimized, and my ambition to work out increased.
Here's a picture of Lee and I at the top of the hill we hiked :)