No, not the harley driving, motor revving, leather chap wearing 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 ;)