After weeks of procrastination, valid and less than valid excuses, and an east coast trip, I finally made it out with the cycling club. Like all first rides of the season, it wasn’t worth writing home about. It is worth writing a blog about, however.
Like every first ride, I forget how long I take to get ready.
I have to:
- make sure the tires are fully inflated. Doing that the night before is never good enough.
- put on my sunblock. There’s no point in getting all lobster on the first ride. It’s bad enough that I will have arm and leg tans that heavily reflect my cycling. Actually, this is pretty cool to me, but it requires explaining, and special to my students. It also requires the teaching of some specific vocabulary.
- make sure I have my membership card, ID, and some money. I think that is pretty self explanatory.
- make sure I have my spare tube, tire levers and a couple of tools.
- check that the bike is working properly and worry about it being lubed up
- stash a cliff bar and maybe a gel in the back of my jersey.
- put my phone in a waterproof bag.
- make sure my jersey still fits after a winter of gaining weight (it did….barely)
- leave on time.
This all sound routine, but really isn’t on the first ride.
Well, I wanted to join the slowest group which were taking the shortest route. I managed to do the first one (and trailed in the rear for most of the ride), but failed on the second. It seems I missed the opportunity to shorten the ride because I saw a strong rider turn off alone and just thought they were going for a “hammer” ride. Oooops. I ended up doing an 78km ride to the lake, instead of short turning it and heading home. Luckily for me, the group leader took pity on me and made sure I didn’t have to ride it alone. She even picked out a less hilly route–seeing as I was able to make up the hill, but at a pace that made the tortoise laugh. On the hills, as my friend Craig would say, I was rubbish. The last twenty kilometres were rather painful.
I am sore. Really sore. I am going to have to up my fitness a lot this year. This is especially true if I want to go on another cycling trip this year–and I do. (Sri Lanka, Cambodia or Chile)
Despite the struggle, I had a great time on the bike and enjoyed the ride (except the last twenty kilometres) and will be out there again next Saturday….and hopefully Sunday.
My non staggering stats are as follows.
- Distance: 90kms (including home and back)
- Average speed: 23.31 (I dogged it on the way back–most of the trip were cruising in the 30’s)
- Max speed 51.9 KM/hr. (down hill)