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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flying back in the saddle

I did it. I finally got back on my bike. I have not been on my bike in about four or five years. It was during my last triathlon. Now that I am not running, I had to figure something else out. so I reached out to my hair stylist (when I can afford her), and elite cyclist friend for advice. Yes, I had completed three triathlons, but truth be told I really did not know how to ride my bike.

That changed a bit on Sunday. My hair stylist elite cyclist friend took me under her wing. First I took my bike to her and her husband's shop. There it got new tires (a few of the spokes in the previous ones broke), new handbrake configuration, new computer, new tape on the handle bars with gel, and a reflector light in the back. I also now own a helmet that did not come from a low end department store. Next are new pedals, shoes, and a cassette (apparently mine was damaged and I am blaming that on the move).

Now I have an totally upgraded bike that I was terrified to ride. I was terrified for a few reasons. One, I had not been on my bike in ages. Two, I was not sure how fast/far I could go. Three, I was not sure I could remember how to clip/unclip (and I wasn't that good before). Four, it was a no drop group ride and I did not want to be holding everyone else up.

I almost bailed on the ride for all of those reasons. Then I realized that I had to start (again) somewhere and the first time back on the bike would be the first time no matter when I did it. So I did it. Only my hair stylist elite cyclist friend showed up so I got one-on-one lessons on how to ride. I learned the correct hand placement on the handle bars, how to move my body to release the muscle soreness, and when to start unclipping before a stop.

I still have a lot to learn, but I successfully rode 27 and change miles. It was slow, but for a first ride it was amazing. I now fully believe that a century ride is doable and another sprint triathlon is definitely in the plans for next year.

I am even more impressed that I can walk. Full disclosure: I did got to restorative yoga Sunday night instead of my usual intense deep slow flow. I needed gentle hip flexor hamstring love.

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