Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ride her hard and bring her home wet (the bike that is)

I just poured myself another glass of wine because I deleted/lost my blog post!  On the bright side, an excuse for one more glass as I rewrite :)

This was an exciting weekend for me, one that took me a big step closer to realizing my goal of completing a Half Iron Du this August.

It all started Friday night when I went to Bushtukah to get my bike fitted.  I will admit I was a wee bit grumpy that it was a Friday night and I was delaying my VINDREDI consumption till after 8pm!  Much to my delight it turned out to be a very fun way to spend my Friday early evening.  I met with Treena, who had me laughing so hard I almost (ALMOST) peed in my new bike shorts.  I learned a lot that evening and most of all she never made me feel stupid about my inexperience.  I left the store motivated and a lot more confident.  I also left with a little of this!

You would almost think I spent my Friday night at the Adult Superfun Store...but no it's just some body glide for the lady parts while riding that promises a blissful ride :)  I mean how can you not be excited about biking now?

Fast forward to Saturday morning after an awesome 12 miler run and you will find the kids outside cheering mom on as she rides up and down the street with two different shoes on.  A friend gave me the awesome tip of keeping one running shoe on and one bike shoe on while I learn to clip in and out.  Yes you heard right, even though I said I wouldn't I went with the clipless pedals.  I "nutted up" :)  I practiced with my right foot first and really struggled to clip out.  Part of the problem is that I am riding in my spin shoes (4 years old).  I'm trying to save a little money on all the stuff I have had to buy (just over $2000 with the bike, odds and ends and the purchase of the cross rails and rack to carry my bike yesterday) But I think I will need to bite the bullet sooner then later on shoes.  Any who, I practiced on each foot and then CLIPPED BOTH FEET IN! Omg that was scary.  But I did ok and got the hang of it.  I might have even hollered out a little YAHOOO!  Then a car started to back out of the drive, he looked at me, I looked at him...I waived him on and waited...then....

OH SHIT!!!! I forgot about my pedals and standing still....over I went and hard! Right into an ICY snow bank.  It hurt (I banged my lady region on the seat, my hip on the ground, and my elbow and hand) and it hurt my pride. 

The guy was nice and rolled down his window and asked if I was ok.  Don't you just hate that when you fall down? I mean it would be so much better if everyone ignored you and walked/drove away.  I think it was even worse because I think he's a "proper" cyclist.  I kind of laid there stunned for a moment, managed to unclip and  tried to call it a day.  But the kids were having fun watching me , I guess and told me to keep going.  How can you argue that, so I practiced a bit more.  Even so, I went to bed that night a little sore, and questioning how I was going to learn to ride this bike and actually do a Duathalon in June.  I was scared.  

Sunday morning arrived at 6:30 am with my oldest asking to get up.  Truthfully I had been lying awake for awhile making up excuses as to why I should not ride my bike today.  I mean there is still snow outside!  But as I sat on my comfy couch drinking my coffee I could feel the sun coming in the window, and it was calling my name.  As soon as Ryan got up (ie.  much much later) I was out the door before I could whimp out.  

I was dressed in not such a cool outfit.  It was pretty cool out and I only have one pair of padded bike shorts.  So I wore those under an old pair of leggings.  I didn't want to risk falling and ruining a pair of LULU! I had on my RR jacket likely some kind of biking faux pas.  Don't get me started on my ugly ass helmet, and my ugly spin shoes.  But my bike is a beauty :) 

My plan on paper today was to bike for 2 hrs, fine and dandy if on a spin bike.  Outside on a new to me road bike not so good.  So my new plan was to JUST TRY!  To just try, to go out there, and learn. To play without speed, pace, or numbers.  Do you know how good that felt?  I took off slowly, in fact I think it took me about 10 min to cover the first mile.  I stopped a lot to practice unclipping.  I was still struggling with my right leg. So I switched to unclipping my left first and getting that leg down.  Not a natural movement being right handed but it worked.  I walked my bike across EVERY intersection, I know soooo NERDY!.  I even walked my bike half a block seriously considering going  home and giving up.  But I didn't :) 

Soon I found myself out on Prince of Wales and away from all the intersections and traffic.  I was nervous about going fast, the bike felt unstable to me compared to my mountain bike.  I spent most of the ride today with my hands in the "down bars?" as that felt more stable.  There are a lot of bumps and such on the road and I was scared about skidding or popping a tire.  But soon I found my groove and my confidence and I was FLYING!!! Oh my goodness this bike flies compared to my heavy Canadian Tire Special Bike.  It was so fun, the wind on my face, my legs spinning smooth and hard, and the snot dripping from my nose.  I felt bad ass! 

My next oh shit moment came when I rode up my first hill.  I had this  moment as I was slowing where it dawned on me...OH CRAP KATIE YOU CAN"T STOP OR YOU WILL FALL!  I played with the gears which seemed like way to much to process at the time and pumped my legs.  I kept chanting GO GO GADGET can not slow down!  I felt so triumphant when I reached the top of the hill!  

It wasn't long before I hit 10 miles and I thought go just a little further, turn around at 11 miles and you will have biked your longest "road" distance when you get home!  I love a personal best! wink :)  At the half way point, I texted Ryan to tell him all was well and had a drink.  Trust me when I say I am not capable of drinking and riding at this point (and I mean water lol).  In fact, I can barely wipe the snot from my nose at this point while moving.  The ride home went by in a whirl, I was more confident and going faster. I was totally focused on the road and my bike.  No music.  No distractions.  Just me in the moment.  What a feeling!  Soon I was nearing the haven and slowing down once more to walk my bike across the intersections.  Only I no longer felt embarrassed,  I felt proud!

36km on my first trip out! I did it! Despite being scared shitless I did it!  I need this, this thing called biking.  It's fun, and freeing.  I'm not putting any pressure on myself to ride a certain pace.  I just want to have fun and do something new.  I want to train hard and complete the event.  I'm excited.  And nervous.  But mostly excited, and it's been a long time since I've been truly excited about a "race".  

On a similar note my youngest daughter, AKA Curly kid, rode up and down the same street this weekend learning to ride without training wheels.  She's not quite ready for Daddy to let go yet...but I know she will get there :) 


  1. Bravo!!! Congratulations on a successful first weekend of riding! We have ALL had those unclipping moments - it is a rite of passage. Welcome to the wonderful, exhilarating world of road biking. Great job on the hill. You exemplified rule #5 with your persistence. Looking forward to seeing you out there!~T

    1. RULE #5!!!! I told my kids about that one! hehehe Thank-you so much, you really kick started my MOJO!!