Posted tagged ‘Rides that “Stink”’

Cycling for Dummies

April 8, 2008

So I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I got a bicycle. The fundamental reason for doing this is my desire to bike through my new hometown of Cape Coral, and secondarily, my hope is to get in shape and eventually participate in some multi-sport races (such as triathlons, aquabike, etc.). And well, I will admit that I have entertained the idea of proposing a resolution for the Annual Meeting of SBC in Indy for all ministers to reduce their carbon footprint by riding bikes to church instead of their SUV’s and Oldsmobiles (in the spirit of the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Change Initiative). 🙂

The last time I rode a bike on a regular basis was when I was a freshman in college which shortly ended when one of my fellow baseball teammates borrowed it . . . and wrecked it. That was almost ten years ago, so guess you could say that I am new to the cycling world.

Up until today, the longest ride I have done was 7.1 miles (which I did two days ago). My goal today was to make my first 10 mile ride, and I even mapped it out. Well, feeling pretty good, I felt like veering off the scheduled course and go for a little more. Bad idea. I realized I was lost when I entered the next town north of us. A scheduled 30 minute ride turned into an 1 1/2 hour ride–from 10 miles to 23 miles! Yikes. (If you go here, you can see my routes – route 1 was the schedule course, and I ended up doing route 4!).

So I thought I’d share some of the things going through my mind as a freshman cyclist, perhaps more fittingly described as a cycling dummy:

1. Stay with your scheduled course. Progressing from a PR 7.1 to 23 miles is not a good idea.

2. Invest in a water bottle and holder. 45 minutes into the ride the lactic acid made it hard to swallow. To say I was parched after 23 miles is an understatement.

3. Think again about riding on the busy highways, especially if you are like me and don’t have a helmet or reflectors on your bike.

4. One hour into it, I thought, “I wish I had one of those cycling shorts with those cushy pads.” Either that or get me one of those grandma bike seats. Sheesh.

5. When tempted to downshift, dig deep and stay in gear. You will feel better about yourself afterwards.

6. Develop a solid cadence because it will help make longer distances feel shorter.

7. Invest in some sunglasses. The wind sheer and bugs in your eyes is a nuisance.

8. When traveling down country backgrounds, expect lots of foul smelling horse and cow manure–and big dogs chasing after you.

9. Carry a little cash on you in case of emergency. Man, when I passed a couple of country stores, I was tempted to auction off the only thing I had–my bike tool–for 20oz. bottle of water.

10. Don’t drink a 40 oz. Dr. Pepper just before riding. Try some high quality H2O next time.

Nothing profound. It’s not supposed to be (see title). Anyway, I think I am going to really like cycling. One of these days I am going to be like one of those dudes who doesn’t have to pretend he knows what he is doing–save the jerseys and all. 🙂