Race Schedule and Results

Monday, May 7, 2012

Biking 101

So as I've mentioned multiple times, I have not been on my bike since moving to Atlanta.  We moved here on the 28th of March for those of you that are counting.  And prior to that, we were only on our indoor trainers since, um... well... let's see - last October?  Yeah, that's the way us Ohio triathletes do it.

Since moving here, Papa Smurf has been hanging patiently in the garage, waiting for his maiden voyage down here.  Each time I walked into the garage, I'd greet him and say "someday soon".

On Friday, Karen invited me to come ride with some girls that were doing the Irongirl course up at Lake Lainer.  I wanted to go, but knew that the house to-do list was far too long.  Tom and I said that we should probably just fit a run in whenever we could.  Saturday we worked our tails off, grouting the first floor tiles that we put in (just a side note... grouting is BY FAR the worst possibly house improvement job ever.  That's all).

Sunday we woke up to a beautiful day.  We had our list ready to start with home improvements but Tom looked at me and said, "I really want to get out on my bike".  That's all it took.  It was too late to meet the ladies at Lake Lanier and were didn't have a clue where to ride out of here - that's why we haven't been riding.

We got on MapMyRide and searched a route from Suwanee.  We found a 35 miler that went virtually from our house (maybe one of our neighbors rides...) and took us looping to Lake Lanier and then back home.  Perfect.

Let me just tell you that I loved it.  Loved loved loved it.  I feel most comfortable on my bike and even since the crash last August that still has me gripping the handlebars for dear life, I'd rather be on my bike than doing just about anything.  The course was hilly and scenic and filled with bikers on a Sunday morning. Not too many cars and those that we did see were super nice.  We only stopped about 25 times to make sure that we were on the right roads (since neither of us had a clue where we were for 99% of the ride... thank God for cell phone GPS!).

But, and here's where my Biking 101 segment comes in... I was really struggling the last 10 miles or so.  I literally had nothing.  I know that I'm not a good climber (that's from living in Central Ohio for 32 years), but I didn't think that I sucked this bad.  I went through the "how am I ever going to get better down here" phase and the "I really need a road bike" phase.  I went through the "why is Tom so much better than me" phase (that's always  a doozie).  I went through the "I think I might die phase".  But I got home.  After the steepest hill all day being in my neighborhood and me thinking that my heart was going to pop out of my chest, I declared "I have a long way to go" to Tom. 

Then I realized that my rear break was on.  It wasn't when I started (I love my Kestrel but have had a million problems with my rear hidden break) so I've learned to check it before going out.  At some point, it must have started rubbing and got to the point where my wheel literally wouldn't spin on it's own.  And I had ridden on it like that for who knows how long.

That explains the 14mph and me struggling.

Although I still do have a long way to go to get my bike fitness somewhere near where I want it, at least I reminded myself of something you learn in biking 101...

If the ride seems impossibly hard, check your brakes.  It might just make all the suck seem totally okay. :)


Unknown said...

awww, happy riding!!
sorry the brake slowed you down :(
We need pics of smurf in his new home
Lola loves that name btw

Wes said...

if you live in Suwanee, that's not a bad spot to have to ride from :-) I don't do much riding on the Northeast side of town, but I have taken my bike out to stone mountain. It has a five and seven mile looping road that's nice and hill, but doesn't involve the mountain!

Anonymous said...

Nice ride!

It usually feels great to ride after a hiatus - sorry the brake messed it up! :)


Unknown said...

Good to see ya back out in the saddle.

Since our bikes are identical I know what ya mean about the rear brakes. They blow. I think I finally have it figured out but it is still something you have to pay attention to constantly.

Kristin Deaton said...

Glad to see you got the bike off the hangers in the garage!! I can't wait to go ride with you! Even bike mechanics hate those breaks. He showed me how to fix them if it happens to me while riding. Thank goodness!

Christi said...

Yay for getting on your bike! That is awesome!

I went for a ride on our big hill the other day. I was sucking horribly and thought "WTF" After I finished the ride, I realized that I had climbed the whole thing in the wrong gear! Whoops!

Elle said...

I am just about to get into biking. Loved reading your post.

Betsy said...

My first ride after IMWI was similar. It had been several weeks, I felt mostly recovered but I was SUCKING on the bike. FInally Neil decided we'd just stop for coffee so I'd quit bitching and that's when I discovered I was riding a flat front tire. I was glad to know it wasn't me!

TriMOEngr said...

My worst hill yesterday was less than 2 mi from home as well. Straight freakin' up! I probably should check my brakes, but I'm pretty sure I just suck. LOL Way to go on getting out there and getting it done! You guys are rock stars in my book!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

It has just barely gotten to outdoor riding weather here

Karen said...

awww YAY at least you got out there - rear brake and all :) There are a few good routes from the Suwanee area out to Lake Lanier and around the general area. I have found some decent maps here (http://www.sadlebred.com/gamaps.html) Also, the Suwanee Bike Shop near McGinnis Ferry has some group rides (or could probably just give you some routes)


I know what you mean about getting used to hills. We are in our new home in Austin for a few days so I went out for a run. We live on Eagle Dr so you can figure out where it is.... Top of a hill. 4 miler was like 8 in the flats of Florida.
Some possible rides around Kennesaw Mountain area?

Matthew Smith said...

Yeah! Way to go on getting out on the bike! I knew it had been a long time, but I'm glad you did it anyway! Jenn and I put a bid on a house in Sugar Hill, so I think we'd be pretty close. If we get it, we'll have to start riding soon...with the brakes off of course! Good for you!

Heather-O said...

Ahhhh, the "Why is Tom so much better than me?" phase, lol. I know that phase (sub in Matt for Tom) all too well ;) Glad you were able to get a good ride in! We missed you this weekend!!!!

Jason said...

You should be used to that as it was like riding the trainer......that is bananas but you now have some stronger legs for it.

Meredith said...


Carolina John said...

I get wheel rubs all the time. drives me crazy. Glad you found a good route! Atlanta is a great place to ride.

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