Today was the day. My longest bike ride E V E R. I've never rode past 18 miles and those miles were on blissful flat road. Today. It was 32 miles on country road hills. This ride was after running the 10 mile Mt. Goat training run on Saturday. Needless to say my quads & hamstrings are toast.
This morning was cold. And I was clueless on how to dress. If this was a long run I would be prepared. Got everything. But a bike ride? I had zip. Nada. Nothing. After a few panic emails I got some great tips. Wear my cycling shorts over my running tights. Wear my ear warmers under my helmet. Wear my cycling gloves over my running gloves. Since I didn't have wool socks I wore two pair of thin running socks. Did I look like a fashion disaster? Yes.
There were seven us. The ring leader, Deborah, was the genius that pulled this ride together and chose the name Snail Pals. All of us wanted to be with a group of people that wouldn't drop each other like a bad habit. Instead, we would wait for each other at certain points and carry on. It was so comforting to know that even though a few people were only dots on the horizon that they would be waiting for everyone to catch up.
We started out and I was a nervous wreck because I've heard about this loop and the hills that waited for us. It was about mile 5 that we hit the monster. At the stop sign we got a little tutorial from the seasoned cyclist about the drop and then the climb. We were gathered at a stop sign and looking straight ahead you can see where the road dropped off. To be perfectly honest I was seriously shitting myself at this point. Each of us went one at a time. My turn came and I flew down that sucker with my brakes on the entire way. I was totally freaked out! Going 25 mph WITH the brakes! Hit the bottom and started pedaling for my life up the monster hill. Didn't even make it half way up. Had to walk the rest of the way. The monster chewed me up and spit me out.
Around mile 25 I bonked. I was so cold and tired at this point that the last five miles were pure survival mode. All I wanted was to get in my car to blast the heat and pray that I would get the feeling in my feet again. There were times that getting up to 9 or 10 mph was a struggle! It was a looooong ride back.
Although the ride was long, cold and tough I am so freaking proud of myself. Today I actually felt a little bit like a cyclist. Just a little.