Saturday, July 18, 2009

"I just want to ride my bike!"

Well, last Wednesday was one of my less fine moments as an athlete, saved by the timely intervention of Mr. Handsome-and-Handy.

I'd been reading "Every Woman's Guide to Cycling: Everything You Need to Know, From Buying Your First Bike to Winning Your First Race" by Selene Yeager. I've been doing spin classes once a week in preparation for my triathlon, and I was feeling that uneasy feeling. That little voice in the back of my head said, "Yeah, you can keep up in spin class, but how will you do on the road?" Another one hissed, "You can't even change your tire."

It was time for action!

So I told the Mr. that I'd be going for a bike ride that morning. Still half-asleep, he muttered, "But I haven't checked the tires." "That's okay!" I chirped, "I'll do it!" Gotta take care of my own ride, right?

"Tire gauge is in the second drawer in the toolbox."

I went through *all* the toolbox drawers. And the workbench drawers. And the workbench. I could not find the gauge. Frustration mounting, I thought to myself, "Heck with it. I'll use the gauge on the foot pump."

So I got down the footpump, and the gauge said 25 psi. I needed 45 at least. So I started pumping. *squeek*...*squeek*...*squeek*... After about a minute of *squeek*, the needle had barely moved. I was looking for cardio, not resistance, darn it! And feeling pretty tight around the temples...

And then there he was. My knight with the tousled brown hair, in t-shirt and shorts. "I heard the foot pump," he grinned.

I burst into tears. "I JUST WANT TO RIDE MY BIKE!" And then I started blathering about other stuff I was stressing about, while he calmly rooted around the toolbox and found the darn tire gauge--the pen-looking one rather than the roundish one I was expecting to see, fired up the air compressor (which woke Thing 2 and probably half the neighborhood), and then we pumped my tires.

"Have a good ride!" he said.

It was, even though it was in thick, drizzly fog. (Where's that sun we had on Tuesday morning?) I felt the tension melt away as I puffed along, wiping my glasses every now & then.

It took me 50 minutes to ride 10 miles. Rather humbling, that. Sure, I have a heavy, cruising bike (29.8 lbs, according to the 1991 Bridgestone CB-1 catalog listing; different saddle than purchased with--more wide and cushy, although I think I've gotten used to the smaller spin saddles--wonder if I have the old one? Plus I need to lose the big ol' rack mounted on the back. And maybe get some road tires; I was a wanna-be mountain biker back when I bought the bike.) I also hit a bit of a head wind on the way back, with no way to bend lower. *sigh*...And here I thought I was becoming such the jock. My fault for letting myself be dazzled by the spin class monitors. Now to do more road rides to keep it real. (And I must learn how to change my tires.)


debby said...

Geesh, that doesn't seem like a bad time to me at all (50 minutes for 10 miles.) And, You REALLY made me want to get my bike fixed so I can ride it! Its had a flat tire since last fall.

debby said...

p.s. I obviously have no idea how to change my own tire...

Lori said...

You'll be fine. You were probably going about 11 miles per hour, which really is pretty good for your first long distance outside ride! It is way different than riding indoors.

I did my tri on a modified bike and not a road bike - so it's doable. Just get some hybrid or road tires and you'll be set.

Juice said...

I can't change my tires at all. And my preferred biking speed is 10 miles an hour! Which is why I rarely ride my bike, and NEVER with serious cyclists. :)

Good for you for getting out there. Your time will improve with each ride, I'm sure!