Posts Tagged 'Bike'

I Did It!

“The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years.
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music.
My heart wants to sing every song it hears.”

~Rogers and Hammerstein (The Sound of Music)

Well, maybe not the sound of music so much as the sounds of me cheering!! I made it up that big hill between here and work, with a headwind, no less. It came early in my ride, so it wasn’t even the worst hill I survived today. I am totally confident that I can ride to work tomorrow.

After going up that hill (about 10 minutes north of here), I turned on OCRd and headed SW, up and down a few more hills and past the transfer station by the quarries. One of the quarries has been drained – wonder if they were looking for another body or if they are finally trying to do something about the smell out there. The transfer station used to dump stuff into a couple of the quarries, and twice a year (spring and fall) when the quarries go through their seasonal convective overturns, the whole area really really stinks.

Anyway, this road is hilly, and narrow – especially at the bridges over the quarries. I got to the end of OCRd and turned back onto the road I started on, came by the cement plant, the road construction (that I had totally forgotten about…I wouldn’t have gone all the way out there if I had remembered), the movie theater, and downhill back into downtown.

I learned several things today:

1) I’m stronger than I know. That giant mountain was only an ant hill.
2) My breathable windbreaker isn’t.
3) The streetsweepers need to come back and clear the winter sand off the shoulders.
4) The Lowes by the movie theater finally opened.
5) The ice cream place across from the movie theater wasn’t run out of town by a chain restaurant.

Things I need to learn:

1) How to get my feet into my toe-clips sooner. They drag on the ground when they are upside down.
2) How to drink and ride. No, not that kind of drinking! I mean how to maneuver the water bottle out of the cage, get water into my mouth, and get the bottle back in the cage while still avoiding potholes and moving in a straight line.
3) The proper etiquette (for lack of a better term) for intersections.

Things other people need to learn:

1) The driver of a White Mercury Mariner needs to learn that honking at a cyclist is rude and dangerous. I was traveling in a straight line in the breakdown lane, and therefore not in your way. I knew you was there; I could hear you coming up behind me. And then you honk while flying by me? Does you honk at every car you pass? Fuck You. And your gas guzzling tank and your overweight McDonalds-scarfing kids in the back seat (ok, I made that second part up).
2) The driver of a Black Yukon could use a similar lesson, although this honking did occur on a much narrower road, where I was to the left of the white line. Actually this was probably worse, since I had a much smaller margin of error. Share the road people!
3) Japanese import “motorcycles” aren’t the real deal. And revving one of those engines just calls attention to the fact that you don’t know the difference between a mosquito and a hog. (Damn, I’m becoming a redneck!)

Total bike time: 57minutes
Estimated distance: 10 miles?

Look!

See that? Isn’t it pretty? And it’s mine, ALL MINE!!! Woo-Hoo!! The bike is a 2008 Trek 1.2 WSD, Trek’s entry level designed-for-a-female road bike. Yep, a real road bike, with skinny smooth tires and curlicue handlebars.

I’ve never had a road bike before, but I’ve wanted one for so long. I kept putting off purchasing one, because they are so expensive (yes, way more so than a mountain bike or a hybrid), but although I complained about the price, I was never closer to actually getting one. I finally realized that, in my head, I may never be able to justify the price, and if I really wanted one, I should just go get it and figure out how to pay for it later. So I did! And by the way, where is that economic stimulus payment already?

I’ve already been out on it a couple times, and I will go out today to, providing the rain holds off…I’m still a little afraid of those tiny tires! It feels so light and smooth and nearly effortless, compared with my old piece of junk hybrid. And because I bought it from a bike shop (as opposed to, say, Wally-World) there were experts to help me find the right fit. I tried a couple sizes and brands, and I could really notice a difference in the geometry. I get free adjustments and tune-ups for a year, and all the components have been tweaked to fit me.

I’m panning to use this bike to train for my big triathlon debut…you know…someday. And I’m planning to ride it to work. The trip is about seven miles, one way, but it has one big huge hill, that I don’t yet know if I can do. I plan to find that out this weekend, and if all goes well, I’ll be riding to work on Monday! I have two coworkers who also live in this town and are talking about riding to work throughout the summer, so that should be fun, and we’ll help keep each other motivated. I’m going to have some killer legs and a smokin’ behind (oh, yeah, I bought the shorts, too), and I won’t be buying so much gas for the station wagon.

I’m so excited!! See you on the road!