I finally have a road bike that works! The story of how that happened is a subject for a blog soon to follow. But I went and picked up the bike today from The Unlikely Cyclist, an absolutely incredible bike shop. I tried it on the trainer then took a test ride in the parking lot. I got started just fine, and then as I went to turn around I slowed down and then decided to stop. I tried to put my foot down, but – as the shop owner had explained but I obviously hadn’t internalized – because of the way that I am fit on the bike I can’t touch the ground while sitting in the seat. So I wildly pawed at the air with my left foot thinking “Can’t touch the ground, can’t touch the ground, can’t touch the ground” and then that situation rectified itself as not just my foot but most of the left half of my body was touching the ground. Very slow speed wipe out. In a parking lot. In front of people. My left leg was fine but my right leg had an unfortunate tangle with the pedal.
The bike shop owner seemed worried that I wouldn’t want to get back on the bike and very sweetly encouraged me to get right back on. She needn’t have worried – between riding horses and figure skating and jumping around on giant hay bales in my youth, falling is not a deterrent for me. On the bright side, I think it actually may have helped to get it out of the way early. She reminded me that momentum is my friend and I got back on and spent the next several minutes riding around the reasonably large parking lot. It turns out the phrase “It’s just like riding a bike” has a basis in reality, at least for me. Phew!
The idea of how fast I would go were I to pedal at 80-95 revolutions per minute (which is my “all day effort” spin rate) is frankly terrifying, but I’ll get there. From these humble beginnings, in five months I will cycle 56 miles at a brisk pace after swimming 1.2 and before running 13.1. Bring it on.
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