Thursday, April 4, 2013

Biker Chick

I can now call myself a biker chick!

No, not the harley driving, motor revving, leather chap wearing type.

I am the padded spandex, helmet wearing, bright jersey, mile-trekking type!

Tucson is a huge road biking city! If you're out on a Saturday morning, don't be surprised to see huge packs of road bikers in their bright colors and spandex trekking the mountainous, hilly roads in our beautiful climate. It was named #9/51 for top cities to bike in the US. (Minneapolis won! Which I thought was pretty neat)

To be honest, cycling has not always been my favorite sport. I liked cycling indoors, in spin class, away from traffic. My husband and I used to ride a few years ago, but he had a light road bike - and I had a heavy trail bike. It was really challenging to keep up. So gradually I started to form a bit of dislike towards road bikers.

I would be running along the trail, and a road biker would zip past me. I would roll my eyes. I feared the traffic, the risk of a tire going flat, the worry of breaking the chain. However, when I signed up for this triathlon, it soon dawned on me that I would have to face my fear!

I could just picture it, "Excuse me, race director, I don't do the road -- so I'm just going to set this stationary bike up here. I will do the same mileage as everyone else! Heck, I'll do double!" 

So Monday I drank the koolaid, as they say. One of my good friends, who's a great road biker -- and a very patient friend, got me road ready. Her husband got my bike adjusted, my tires aired up, and gave me a little educational session on how to be safe with my bike. We set out for a nice 15 mile ride.

I'm going to be honest, although it was fun -- I finished the ride thinking, "How will I ever get the hang of this?". I felt so unsteady, wobbly, and at risk of crashing at any moment! Every time I switched gears, I would lose control of my bike and start swerving like a drunk driver.

But today I found my rhythm. I set out for a ride, I practiced changing gears and traffic signals on a quiet residential street -- and then hit the roads! Before I knew it, I was attacking hills - joining cars on turns, soaring down hills going 25 mph. I got the hang of it, and loved every second!

The best part is, especially after being a runner for 13 years, I got to cover 16 miles in 1 hour! I also realized that your stomach doesn't get nearly as upset on a bike as it does running -- so I could make a pit stop at Starbucks for some "fuel". (end I would end up puking coffee up on the road)

 I love the feeling of discovering a new hobby -- and I can't wait to see how many miles and how many sites I discover during this new journey! This girl is a biker chick now!  And yes, Mom, I promise I will wear my helmet ;)


Barb Geier said...

Loved this post. I bought a new bike in January and also went through the scary moments of getting used to everything. I love it now. Good luck with your new sport! Good for you.

Barb Geier said...

Loved this post. I bought a new bike in January and also went through the scary moments of getting used to everything. I love it now. Good luck with your new sport! Good for you.

marybeth said...

Biker chick, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, you certainly have some beautiful scenery to take in on your trips, we loved the Tucson area. Safe travels, and glad you're wearing your helmet..

Marlys said...

Yes, Abby, I am glad you are wearing your helmet because I remember when you were little and fell off the bike with Emily and didn't have one on! That was probably my fault! Your new hobby sounds so exciting! I envy you! I keep pondering the idea of buying a new bike for myself so when I retire I can hit the roads! I don't know what kind of bike to buy, though!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Yea for wearing a helmet! That is so important. I have only road a road bike a couple of times - it was a little nerve wracking as I felt very unsteady. It is good to hear that you are quickly adapting!!

Marlys said...

You should send us a picture of your road bike! I would love to see it!