Saturday, August 8, 2009

How to know if you're out of your league

The local bike shop puts on a beginners bike ride. We finally made the time to try it out. I grew up in the country so I am not yet comfortable riding in traffic, but I am better now and I thought what the heck.

Turns out I needed the 'before you even think about being a beginner' riding group. There were at least three clues I was out of my league before we even started.

1 Mine was the only non road bike there. I have been told road bikes take less effort to ride, so I'm already going to be working harder than anyone else.

2 I was the only one without a biking jersey. So great now I even look more like I'm not part of the crowd, like I should be a spectator. There were two jerseys modeled after Tour de France team jerseys. I get it I'm not part of the "in" crowd. At least I had bike shorts on.

3 They all had clip in shoes. These clip into the bike pedal and allow you to use the whole stroke, not just the down stroke. Yet more biking attire that proves how much of a 'dig it' I am not. Sigh.

So we start off and everyone is super polite and says after you. No one wanted to start after the leader so I think what the heck and start off after him. It is like when you were in school and no one wanted to be the first to give their oral report. Always volunteer to go first. You get bonus points for going first and they have no one to compare you to. You can not look that bad and by the time everyone else finishes they all forgot how you stumbled over the pronunciation of some silly word. What? It works try it the next time.

We go for about a couple of miles (give or take) and I'm still doing better than I thought I would. We're going through city streets and I have not balked at making a left turn yet. I am feeling confident with my new group status. That is right Miss Antisocial is part of a biking group.

The person leading the group drops back to check on how everyone is doing and says to me..."Just ride at your own pace". Dude I am.

Then a long slow hill hits me. Those kind of hills just take all the wind out of my sails. They kill me. I keep looking up thinking I am going to do this. I shift down a gear, same thought I am going to do this, shift down, I am going to do this, shift down, I don't want to do this any more, shift down, no thought just blood throbbing in my head, shift down, keep pedaling and wonder if people ever stroke out while on a bike.

I do make it to the top of the saddest little incline ever. You see I called it a hill but in reality it was a slight rise over a stretch of road.

So I start to think at this point maybe I am not a beginner after all. Maybe I am three steps before beginner. I look at the Hubby and say I don't think I can do this. He says how about down this hill? Yeah I can go down just don't ask me to go up. Guess what happens when you go down? That's right you have to go up. I start shifting down again and think pffffftt. I get off the bike and start walking up.

We get to the top of the hill (yeah that one was a hill) and start discussing options with the leader guy who has dropped back for me. He says something like there are escape routes all along the route we're on. I am looking for a hatch get me out, now. We were five miles into a 15 mile ride I know I don't have that in me. I send Hubby on his way to catch up to the group. I turn off to go make the 5 mile return trip back to the car.

Funny thing was it was not that bad. I never worried about what could happen. I didn't think that I would not make it. I did think at one point in time I need to brake, I'm going pretty fast and the cars next to me are also. But other than that the return ride was actually enjoyable.

Is it wrong that now I want a road bike also? I am definitely set on being the SAG car operator if Hubby does want to any type of cross country ride. I don't want to be the person looking for an escape hatch five miles into a 100 mile ride.

I even managed to get my bike into the car after the ride by myself. Now aren't you proud of me? I know I was. Oh yeah and what is a failed biker/successful knitter to do with her waiting for the rest of the group to arrive time? You guessed it.

I knit on a sock in the car. I think it was the only reason D agreed to finish the ride was because I told him I would be fine I had knitting in the car.

1 comment:

  1. Similarly if I showed up to knitting group with my cheapo acrylic yarn from Michael's and everybody else has alpa yarn, wooden needles, and are wearing their creations (a yarner's jersey).