Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Maiden Voyage

When my coworker (known as "E" at work) came to me a few months back and asked me to ride in the MS150 bike ride, I told her she fell and bumped her head. My definition of exertion was loading the dishwasher.

How is a fat 40-something chick who gets winded walking to the mailbox supposed to ride 150 miles on a bike in one weekend? And not to mention that, other than a few very short (15 minutes or less) stints on a bike over the past few years, this fat chick hasn't seriously ridden a bike for 25 years. Oh, and just a tiny detail ... I do not own a bike.

The MS150? That is the definition of insanity!

So after contemplating this challenge, I approached my sister and asked her if she wanted to ride. She thought I fell and bumped my head. (by the way, my sister is the skinny chick)

Fast forward 3 months ... we have been taking "Spinning" classes (that has nothing to do with yarn), working out, eating healthier, and trying to condition outselves to ride in the great outdoors. As a bonus, my dear sister has stopped smoking, and I have lost 20 pounds (but still pleasantly plump). Oh, and another bonus, my sister's hubby is into this too!

So all three of us ... me, sis (Chrissy to me, but Chris to everyone else), and bro-in-law (Cris) (that's not a typo - it's Chris and Cris) ... have bought new bikes. They both have road bikes, I have a 'recreational' bike that can be used on the road or on the trails (see the photo above). I know I won't be a speed demon on this bike, but I figured if I'm going to fork out money for a new hobby that I don't even know if I will like, I want to get a multi-purpose machine. Sis and bro-in-law took their maiden voyage a few weeks back. This Sunday (April 5) was my maiden voyage.

"I have to pull over", I yelled to Chrissy about a quarter mile into the ride. "WHY?" she said with a chuckle. "I have to adjust my mirror". I could not bring myself to take my left hand off the handlebar for only a second to adjust the mirror. After Chrissy said "YOU DON'T HAVE TO PULL OVER TO ADJUST YOUR MIRROR", and with great hesitation, I forced myself to just do it.

Even though I managed to adjust my mirror while in motion ... I DID have to pull over several times to drink my water. The coordination just isn't there yet to try to pull my water bottle out of the rack while pedaling. Maybe I need one of those drinking helmets that you see crazy sports fans wearing. But, of course, I would only put water in mine!

"Try to ride the white line", Cris said to me more than once. "I'm trying!", I yelled as I wobbled back and forth.

"I'm not going up that hill", I said as we approached a hill (okay, maybe it was just a slight grade). I hear "YES YOU ARE!" from my sister. As far as I was concerned, I was ready to turn around. But I pedaled through it, was breathing heavily at the top, but was feeling pretty proud of myself.

14.06 miles round trip from East Freedom to Claysburg. Flat, straight ride. Probably a sissy ride for the experienced cyclists, but for me it was a challenge. But a challenge that I look forward to doing again, even though my butt felt like I had been sitting on a 2x4.

Oh, and I didn't realize a helmet would do that to my hair! Bad, Bad hair! I am going to have to start wearing a do-rag or skullcap, or whatever the heck those things are called. I promise to also purchase proper attire, and ditch the rubber bands around the bottoms of my pant legs!

Only 16 weeks to go for the big ride!

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