Sunday, June 16, 2013
Yesterday I participated in my first long distance group bike ride
and was able to cross the finish line w/ a smile on my face! So often we are intimidated and sell ourselves short by saying "I can't do that" when in reality, if only we try, we actually can do it! My friend, Erin, told me about a "Ride for Life" supporting a local nonprofit called Bridgehaven that is a pregnancy support center. We were a little intimidated during the registration process as we looked around at the group of individuals participating...all seems really fit and toned. Erin is thin but not athletic. Then there was me - not real athletic looking but I do lead a cycling class regularly at the gym so....I should be able to do this right? We road through towns I've never ventured out to in all the 12 years I've lived in this area. Lots of hills...up and down and up again! I started the race encouraging my friend and myself to pace ourselves. Slow and steady wins the race! There were 7 total rest stops w/ the 7th being the finish line. By the 5th stop, Erin had to catch a ride and call it a day. She has an older, heavy bike which didn't help! For the record, I was so proud of her! I saw how much she struggled yet she kept going on and surpassed her initial goal by a long shot! I latched onto a group of 3 guys for the rest of the ride that seemed to be riding at a pace I could maintain. At one point Erin and I had gotten off track and were lost..although at the time, we didn't know it. One of the SAG people tracked us down, gave us a lift to the next stop to catch up w/ the other riders so I wanted to make up the difference and decided to ride my bike home from our ending point which tacked on enough miles for me to be able to say I rode the whole amount. 62 miles!!!! At 3 out of the 6 stops along the way, our host provided us w/ snacks and beverages. They sent out a list of the snacks beforehand and I told my husband most of the stuff were things I don't normally eat such as high carb items. His advice, being a long time bike rider, was that I needed to forget about that for the day and eat in order to keep my energy levels up. I listened and didn't have any problems while eating at most of the stops and ending w/ lunch at the center. They supplied subway sandwiches AND pizza along w/ cookies, chips and beverages. I passed on the pizza - didn't think a heavy, greasy item would work well w/ the ride home and instead, opted for a turkey sub. I think I made wise choices overall and am anxiously awaiting my next opportunity to go on another large group ride! I have one lined up for Aug 17 & 18. This one will be an overnight stay w/ a 55 mile ride there and again back the next day. Can't wait!