Hey, everyone! Did you survive the scorcher today? I’ve been hanging out inside—where there’s air conditioning—all day. I wish the humidity would relent a bit; reading outside would be lovely!
“to get you to love bike riding just as much as we do by creating a safe, friendly and FUN environment. Our hope is to build up your confidence by riding with other women and learning the basics of cycling.”
Count me in!
WOW rides take place every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday during the spring and summer, and today’s 9 a.m. meet-up marked my first ever group ride. Trish, co-owner of Syracuse Bicycle and friend of MaryBeth, led this morning’s group. I met her a few weeks ago at Fleet Feet and Syracuse Bicycle—the CNY athletic-types tend to flock to the same places!—so I felt much better going to the ride knowing one person. However, I was still a little apprehensive: how many women would be there? How experienced would they be? Would I be able to keep up? I’m still new to outdoor cycling, and honestly, the sport intimidates me a little bit, but in a good way—there is so much to learn! And this morning, my goal was to become more comfortable changing gears and become more confident riding in general.
Pulling into the Panera Bread parking lot, I started to get excited and picked up on some good vibes. Four women comprised our group, which proved to be an ideal number—big enough so vehicles would take extra care to give us room on the shoulder, but small enough so we could talk and ride alongside one another. Before setting out, Trish gave me a brief overview of shifting; a lot of the information I already knew—right hand controls gear in the rear, and left hand controls gear in the front, etc.—but it was beneficial to refresh my memory and review the basics.
At the beginning of the ride, Trish rode with me and talked through her shifting process. As cyclists, we need to be constantly assessing terrain/road conditions and be cognizant of traffic, she said. When we approached our first hill, Trish relayed exactly what she was thinking, what she was doing, and why she was doing it; as we reached the peak and cruised down the other side, she explained which adjustments I should make, when to make them, and why they were important. This one-on-one session was exactly what I needed: Overall, I have a good handle on the theory/technique, but I’m not 100 percent sure when it comes to execution/practice, so it was really helpful to watch and learn from a veteran in-action.
Although it was hot—the temperature slowly climbed to 90 degrees—we covered 14.6 miles in an hour and a half. (Don’t worry, I drank lots of water and applied sunscreen beforehand!)
There were a few hills, which gave me opportunities to practice changing gears. I had a blast, and I feel much more comfortable riding and shifting. Thanks for a great ride, ladies! Have you ever been on an organized group bike road? Did you enjoy it?
After chugging three glasses of water, I refuel post-ride with a Chobani yogurt.
Why ruin a good thing?
I repeated last night’s dinner this afternoon.
A few hours later, I had a homemade granola bar and a handful of blueberries.
It’s a day full of repeats.
Spicy Shrimp with Lime and Cilantro, plus roasted red peppers, broccoli, and zucchini.
And a bowl of frozen blueberries for dessert. Bet you didn’t see that comin’!
Margaret and I are going to 5:45 a.m. spin class at the Y tomorrow morning, so it’s off to bed for me. Good night!