Sunday, April 30, 2006

Back in the Saddle

The most obvious, I found my sidebar! Still a couple of glitches but none significant.

I went to a to a gear swap yesterday put on by the Valley Bikers and Hikers. They had a couple of clinics on bike maintenance (already knew everything they went over) and then a little skills clinic, which was basically positioning for climbing and decending small hills. I was pretty wary with the shoulder and also being on the 1st real ride with my Santa Cruz Juliana. I rode it a few times on the bike paths in the winter, this was the 1st off-road ride. So I start to climb up this rather little hill which I would have normally never thought twice about.

The bike is way light compared to my Cannondale and I just didn't have the feel for it. The front tire kept lifting with each pedal stroke. I didn't make it up the puny hill. Other's were trying it but they kept standing up to lean over the bars and spun out. I have always been a "seated" climber, so my issue is not leaning over the bars enough. So then I start evaluating how the shoulder feels, if I will be able to put pressure, pull back or whatever. I finally decided to just relax and ride, I found I was actually a bit afraid (I HATE to admit that) of my shoulder failing and of the bike, it's just soo different than what I'm used to. I decided to go along for the group ride, the 1st one I have been on.

There were REAL bikers in this group. I'm feeling like a wanna-be biker on a way-expensive bike that I'm not bike-worthy of, sort of foolish. But what the hay, lets go for a ride. I will stick to the back and hopefully avoid anyone noticing me. But as I was comtemplating all of this, a guy comes up to me and askes me if I'm Chaindriven. It's Tim of Bicycles and Icicles fame! It was great meeting him and his friend. They are "real" bikers! My plan to blend into the mud became a bit more difficult, especially when I huff and puff up the trail and there is Tim, camera in hand....I do my best not to look like I'm on the verge of passing out or puking as he clicks away. I don't know if I was able to pull it off, he's going to email me the pic and we will see. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

My shoulder did suprisingly well. My endurance is non-existant. I was huffing and puffing soo loudly I started laughing at myself which caused even more oxygen deprivation. We rode through hayfields which were like a soggy sponge. It was a good workout for a girl who has only done about 25 miles on the trainer in the last 2 months. My body started remembering how to WORK a bit about 3/4 through the ride and I started feeling stronger at the end and more confident with my bike. The full suspension is really nice, although I need to remember to check my settings to make sure I'm not boucing away a lot of energy.

So I'm happy with myself, I finished the ride slowly but surely with none the worse for the wear. I felt a bit bad for the real bikers, who would stop and wait for us stragglers, but everyone was very friendly. My nephew also came along, it was good for him. He was able to keep up with the big guys and was complemented on his riding. Big grin on his face. He said the ride was about 8.5 miles if the bike computer is set up correctly. The best part of the ride was going downhill..I really love that part! My bike handled beautifully but I have to get different tires. They were soo gunked up with mud at the end of the ride. I talked to another guy who has the same tires. He said he had the same problem with them but they are the best for dry, hard packed conditions. We seem to mostly ride in wetter conditions. I will take the tires off my Cannondale and put on the Santa Cruz. I think I will also start carrying a camara. There was some beautiful views on yesterdays ride. I gotta go clean my bike!