Had my first two training rides last weekend! And Iâ€™m in worse shape than I thought.
I went to a category evaluation ride on Saturdayâ€”a relatively flat, 20-mile rideâ€”and came out at 11.9 miles per hours average. Thatâ€™s pretty darn slow. Now, granted, that was a 20-mile route with headwinds and a pretty impressive hill, but stillâ€¦I have a lot of work to do!
Sundayâ€™s ride was a quieter, 25-mile ride along a flat route in Sunnyvale. I did OK in itâ€”the training ride leaders were really good about keeping track of everyoneâ€”but had trouble keeping up with people on the hills. Iâ€™m not a fast rider by any means, but Iâ€™m particularly bad at hill-climbing. Thatâ€™s because Iâ€™m 5â€™0â€ and weigh 146 pounds! Granted, a lot of that is muscle, but itâ€™s still a lot of weight to be hauling uphill on stubby little legs. So I donâ€™t expect Iâ€™ll ever be a great hill-climber, but I can sure do a lot better than that. More stuff to work on!
One really cool thing happened on Sundayâ€™s training rideâ€”I was riding along in one of the Los Altos Hills backroads, and a wild turkey crossed the road! I couldnâ€™t believe my eyes, but there it was in front of us, strolling across as if it owned the road. Wild turkeys are big! The one I saw was easily the size of a peacock, and it was gorgeousâ€”black and bronze barred feathers, and a bright red wattle. Iâ€™d never seen a wild turkey before, so this was particularly specialâ€”I didnâ€™t even know they lived around here! But those are the sorts of things you see while riding. (I saw a bobcat once, carrying a big olâ€™ gopher snake in its mouthâ€¦it just walked right past us as my boyfriend and I sat there on our bikes with our jaws on the floor.)
One thing is obvious, though: Iâ€™m gonna have to start wearing my tutu on training rides. Six or seven people asked me â€œWhereâ€™s your tutu?â€ So Iâ€™m going to wear my tutu at official training rides from now on. Clearly I must make more tutus. 🙂
Next weekâ€™s training ride will be with the Positive Pedalers (HIV+ riders), a â€œJingle Bellsâ€ ride on Saturday the 17th. Theyâ€™re collecting food for a local food bank, so Iâ€™m going through the pantry tonight to see what I can donate. I know Iâ€™ve got a bunch of foodstuffs that Iâ€™m never going to useâ€¦might as well do some good!
The ride itself is a flat ride, going out of Sausalito, about 21 milesâ€¦exactly what I need right now. Iâ€™m in pretty miserable shape, so two 20-mile rides are about what I can manage at the momentâ€¦last week I did a 20 and 25-miler, this week I may do 20 miles Saturday and try for 30 miles on Sunday. I havenâ€™t yet decided whether to venture forth on my own Sunday, or go to an organized training ride. I rather think Iâ€™ll go off on my own.
Iâ€™ve emailed my coach from AIDS Lifecycle 2, asking him if he has space for me on his training schedule. He doesnâ€™t coach many riders anymoreâ€”he loves doing it, but he earns a lot less from coaching than he does from the other stuff he doesâ€”but Iâ€™m hoping I can talk him into helping me out. With the knee injury, I feel like I need some professional guidance in order to keep from getting re-injuredâ€¦and thereâ€™s no one better than Curtis!
But Iâ€™ve started my training, and though itâ€™s a long way to go, I have five months to trainâ€¦I think Iâ€™ll make it!
P.S. You can sponsor me at https://www.aidslifecycle.org/donate/form.cfm?n=1918 . My target is $5000, so every penny helps!