Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Training ride #1

I've been moping about how much solo cycling I do. While I cherish my alone time on the bike, I do occasionally get a little lonesome putting in all those miles by myself. With that in mind, I jumped at the chance to ride on Sunday with friends who are also training to ride in the ADA Tour de Cure in June.

Bel, Bob, Scott, & me with our trusty Specialized steeds.

My route was slightly shorter than my planned fifty mile ride, but I still managed almost 37 miles by riding from Sterling (mi 22.5) to Idylwood Park in Falls Church (mi 8.5) , backtracking to Hunter Mill in Reston (between mi 14.5 & 15) with Bel, Bob, & Scott then riding back to our meet-up spot in Falls Church (mi 8.5) and continuing with Scott up to the spot in Arlington where the W&OD meets the Custis (~ mi 4), and then back to the park in Falls Church where the truck was waiting to carry us back home. I am so thankful that Scott drove the truck to meet me at the park. While an easterly tailwind got me to Falls Church in an hour, that same wind was a killer going westbound. My legs were killing me on the final leg of our ride and I wouldn't have made the slog back to Sterling in that headwind.

Elevations from Shirlington (0) to Sterling (22.5). Source.
During the ride, I took my first clipped-in spill. I unclipped on the left and promptly fell to the right on to a, thankfully, super soft patch of grass. Also thankfully, I remembered to leave my right foot clipped in so I wouldn't possibly sprain it or worse. Bob and Scott were horrified, but I threw my arms in the air -- after crawling out from under the bike -- and hollered "Whoo hoo! I'm a real cyclist now!" Circe was fine and I was merely covered in chain grease from my knees down. My pride wasn't even bruised; I was too jazzed that the fall wasn't anywhere as painful or scary as I had imagined it would be.

Scott took his Crux off-road and disappeared in the bush.
The training ride shook my belief in my being able to ride a metric century, much less a full one. But I have to keep reminding myself that this was the first longish distance ride on my new bike and I have six more weekends of training -- I'm out of town Memorial Day weekend -- before the big event. There's plenty of time to continue training and the ride will be okay.

1 comment:

  1. The big key to riding with clipless pedals is always release the same foot when you come in for a stop. Everyone has a foot that they always touch down with. That's the foot you need to unclip, because your body naturally leans that way anyways. :) The truth is, no matter how long you have been riding, eventually you go down and look like a goober. The nice thing is that everyone around you, totally understands! lol

    As for riding a century, don't doubt yourself for a moment. I know it feels daunting now, but I promise you it is an achievable goal. Centuries are totally my forte, so I should know. The biggest key is saddle time. You do NOT have to push to go fast, you just have to put in MILES. Invest in chamois butter! I am NOT kidding. Your girl parts will thank you. Re-apply every time you stop for potty. You will need to drink one large water bottle per hour. I add a powdered mix (I carry the packets with me) to my water that contains at least 45 carbs and electrolytes. That way I am getting hydration and fuel at the same time. I also carry protein bars. Stop at the food stops and eat. Also remember to eat at least 20 g of protein within 20 mins of finishing really long rides. I have this pretty much down to a science. lol I love centuries and double centuries. If you need any help whatsoever, I would love to help. You are riding for a very important cause!!