Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday group ride!

Can I state again that one of my major goals for the year is to be become a stronger and, hopefully, faster bike person, and time in the saddle is obviously a crucial step to achieving that goal.  Honestly, it would be hard for me to not become a better cyclist since I'm still pretty weak and almost anything counts as improvement to me.  Besides the physical challenge, another part of this goal is to ride with people - gasp!  I've realized that I do gravitate to the solitude of running, and I am more than happy to clock in miles doing solo rides, but I also think that the bike can offer a shared experience, whether it's a great ride with Michael or pushing myself to step outside my comfort zone and ride with other people.  That would also mean socialize with other people - definitely not one of my strong points.

In order to do these more 'social' rides, I begrudgingly joined a facebook group but until today was reluctant (nervous) to go on one of the group rides.  This morning, however, seemed like the perfect opportunity - a nice loop that was fairly close to home and great weather.  What was I waiting for?  But, when I woke up this morning, I admit that I seriously thought about putting my head in the sand or going out on a solo ride, but I managed to motivate myself and arrived just as everyone was leaving.  I confessed my nervousness in the leader who did reassure me, saying "It's a ride, not a race".

And what a ride it was!  I am pretty psyched that I joined the group for it because it was about 35 miles for me (adding a mile or two on the way to meet the group and then one or two to ride home), but it took us on a nice long climb for many miles, and then we flew down the Angeles Crest Highway, a road on which I'm beginning to feel comfortable, especially on the descent!  I was able to enjoy some of the scenery on the ascent, when I wasn't huffing, puffing and cursing myself and the climb, and I discovered, again, that I don't totally suck, in particular when I'm climbing.  I certainly didn't ride with group A, but I was a strong member of group B.  Cheers to that!

It definitely made me appreciate the group leaders who took time to ride with us slowpokes, and one in particular rode with me when I was so close to one of the many 'summits' (I felt that there were many!) but slowing way down!  I am also questioning my plan/desire for a new bike.  A few of the other people in group B had much nicer bikes than I but it didn't seem to matter that much?  Not only in terms of how I performed on the bike, but no one made fun of me because I have a violet-colored bike with flowers on it.  Big relief there.

I did feel quite awkward socially on occasion, and I would like to blame it on feeling shy and new and nervous and also fatigued from the climbs.  The cycling/tri crowd still intimidates me, but I'm working on it.  Hopefully I didn't sound like a total dingbat.

On a final note, I thought about running after the ride, but when I got home, my legs were pretty shot.  Good call on not running because I hopped in the shower and then I totally bonked.  Kind of crazy - I've never had the experience when I felt nauseous and could barely stand after a longish workout.  Michael was awesome and cooked up some eggs and toast to revive me.  Voilá - I soon bounced back enough to walk to the yogurt place for an afternoon snack.  That was, of course, after a nice nap - just what I needed!  It did, however, make me pause.  Obviously I need to focus more on how I fuel myself.  Speaking of which, Mexican food tonight?  Please, thank you!


mindful mule said...

How was Big Tujunga Cyn Road? I haven’t biked there yet.

Kalli said...

yay! good for you! and to ride with the B group is really good. and yes bonking will occur much easier riding then running. weird how i have to eat so much more riding than running. i am really proud of yoU!

Kristina said...

Big Tujunga Cyn Road was/is AWESOME! It's beautiful back there and very little car traffic. I would do it again any day.

Thanks for letting me know about the 'bonking' issue. When I swim, I get to the point that I could eat my arm off, but I *get* all of the cues. This just came out of nowhere!