Monday, May 7, 2012
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. :)