Riding My Age in Miles, and More

In 2007 I discovered BikeForums.net, and dove in with no reservations. Many connections continue even now: Fifty+, NorCal, Women’s, Tandem, Racing — so many ways to connect to so many people!  To this day I maintain the connections, whether through BikeForums, Facebook, Twitter, real life, and any combination of the above.

So on Saturday a BF/FB/real life friend, her teammates and SO, and a fellow from our local LBS Sunday ride met at the start of the Foxy’s Fall Century to ride the Metric Century (61.4 miles). I’ve done it twice on my road bike, and twice on the tandem. Because this was in honor of my birthday on 10/21, we opted for the tandem and the Metric (we lacked tandem saddle time for the full century).

In near-ideal conditions we set out with arm warmers and smiles. We passed other tandems, other tandems passed us, and when we pulled into the first stop we had a decent train behind us.

We left with mixed messages about some of our team: some went ahead, some were behind, but we all agreed that we should ride before we cooled off too much. Rollers, a hill, a downhill were next, and we both were dropped and dropped riders. I admit my ego enjoys passing single bikes on a hill climb, especially when they kvetch about it. Riders have seen the profile; if they can’t climb, they should train more.

We caught up with the friends who got ahead of us on the downhill; there is nothing like at tandem team bombing a downhill they know intimately, chip-seal be damned. My captain was awesome in his handling of the bike, as well as his responses to my nervousness.  At one point, turning onto Putah Creek Rd. from Pleasants Valley Rd., we had nearly 40 bikes, including 2 tandems, in our train.  Yes, that’s an ego ride, pulling so many others. It’s really fun and sometimes really taxing.

At lunch we were offered $20 to pull from Winters back to Davis by 3 riders who’d been part of the tandem train for the previous 2 segments. Our friends weren’t ready to leave, so we declined, although we were flattered to have been offered money for what we do naturally. I wonder if we can monetize that for when we’re retired?

The ride back was flat and mildly head-windy; we modified our pace, yet a few of our original team were dropped. It happens.  We arrived after 61.4 miles feeling pretty frisky. I remember arriving at the finish on tandem & half-bike after the Imperial century feeling beat-up and tired. We had no regrets on riding the Metric. And it was more than my age, which was the ultimate goal.

We ride the roads included in this ride all time: they’re local, accessible, fun, and easy to access, whether we choose hills or flats or a combination. What made this special was that Mike, with whom we know from our LBS shop ride, had only ridden 45 miles before today, and he learned how to draft; we rode with out-0f-town friends;  we drove our bike to the startt. We shared the road and experience with many cyclists of many different abilities and rides and attitudes, and it all worked just fine. We had a blast and I was very happy to ride my age in miles + some, and to have enjoyed it so much. I wish everyone could enjoy their version of this ride.

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Another Spin Class

My husband, at least as competitive as I, and probably more so, came with me to a Spin class tonight. I planned Spin + Body Pump, and Spin was enough. I’m still sore from Tuesday’s effort, so Spin was enough.

He has to leave Monday for a work thing. My significant birthday is Tuesday; I made reservations at Yoshi’s for dinner and Leon Russell after. I saw Leon Russell shortly after my 18th birthday, at the Tower in Philly. I was so eagerly anticipating that intimate time, and when he told me it was crushed, so was I.

Perhaps I’m subconsciously focused on “an age.” Or “an event.” Either way, I have no back up plan, and my best GFs and siblings aren’t here, and I kind of want to just cry about that.

After the morning’s meetings are done, I’ll just go ride my bike. And hope that I get a perspective on a new decade that I don’t have now.

Color me always hopeful.

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Finding Balance

Riding my bike makes me who I am, and helps propel me into a better version of myself. When I have the time to workout I choose the bike — always I find something I didn’t know I had, or a thought or idea that is released because of my forward motion, or my effort, or the landscape and olfactory stimulation, or all of it.

While that makes my soul and legs happy, much of the rest of me is lacking.

I’ve let my core strength, my upper body strength, my agility with weights and compound movements just slide…I chose to walk the dogs and/or ride my bike, rather than do planks, push-ups, TRX.

So last night I did a cycling class and Body Pump class back to back. The cycling class was no biggie; I will adjust to the gears & instructors. The BP class…it was my first, and I was conservative with the amount of weights I used & took breaks…my first weight-training in about a year. So now, I hurt.

I knew for months that I needed to incorporate strength training of any kind into my routine, and ignored that tiny voice in my head as I walked the dogs and rode my bike and ran my business. Best year ever for real estate, by the way — extra-busy meant  less free time. Less free time meant choosing what mattered most. Dogs + bike won.

I’m paying for that now, and for tomorrow as well. I anticipate getting balance back, now that I have classes to choose to take, and less time cycling outdoors, as the days grow shorter.

Updates to come. And even with my current pain, I’m happy that I’m healthy enough to work out hard enough to feel pain.  I’m looking forward to having balance back.

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Learning Curve

I’m still figuring out WP. I’ve used a different blogging platform for several years, which had a pretty shallow learning curve. WP ups the ante to several powers of 10. I’ll do my best to learn and keep up. Nobody wants a blog fail.

So I need to learn how get pictures here. I’ll a different one next time. IMG_2120

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Earlier today I reblogged a blog I found from a Twitter/real life acquaintance. I had a number of followers that weren’t just cyclists, runners, or swimmers…in other words, regular people. I realized  that there are many people who want and need inspiration and examples. I will try to do so here; not only posting what inspires me, and also rebloggiing those who inspire me.

Thanks for reading.

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5 Reminders for times you feel like giving up.

This came to me at a time when I really needed the reminders.

Thanks, P, for writing it, and R, for Tweeting it.


5 Reminders for times you feel like giving up..

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We were up early because we wanted to eat a hearty breakfast & digest before any efforts on the bike were required. Bacon, poached eggs, and the usual coffee, which I addressed. Chris wasn’t feeling the ride (Cantelow E to W, Winters, through the orchards), but he was a real trooper. He pulled D and me down PV at a pace she swore she couldn’t have maintained w/o him. I disagreed. She’s stronger and faster — she can dominate the bike rides like she dominates the horse stuff.

Once we turned onto Putah Crreek Rd. we traded pulls, keeping the pace brisk but not taxing. We opted for Mayan Mochas at Steady Eddy’s and saw many friends come and go (new trainee, service was slow but time spent reconnecting with bike friends was well-spent). We went home through the orchards, dropped D off, and shared the work to get home. We rode 3 days in a row, a rarity lately, and we were feeling it. Glad we’re doing a weekly garage spin or this would’ve hurt much more.

And this evening, as we did Friday evening, we test-rode mountain bikes. As if we need more bikes…#N+1



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