I hear about these rides outside of the city, mostly in Chappell Hill, but I never go. Chappell Hill is called hill for a reason and I never thought I was ready for hills with the hybrid bike and especially not with the new guy in my life, Cylo. Then, I got an email about cycling in Brookshire from my friend Bob. Oh that's flat...I can do some flat. And I really wanted to get out there for a ride on Cylo. Elizabeth was in and I begged her nicely to pick me up since it is quite difficult to transport my bike in my car. Hey, I put gas in her car and I'm driving to Splash and Dash this Friday.
So, we made a plan to get up before the sunshine on a Sunday morning (6 a.m. departure time since it takes about an hour to get out there)...AGAIN. I put everything in an area where I could easily grab stuff in a rush, including laying out my clothes ahead of time. Thank God I just did the washing.
The group ride started at 7:30 a.m., but we thought we would start at 7 a.m. to beat the heat. However, we didn't get there at 7.
There were two parts to the ride. One part was out to Monaville and back from the parking area for 21.5 miles or you can add an extra loop as a second part for a total of 42.5 miles. The ride was sponsored by Bicycle World and had a van out there in case shit happened or you needed a ride back somewhere. And I needed the van. They also printed out maps for the ride with Wes' (the van guy) number.
Oh and wouldn't you know, I forgot my darn helmet. Thankfully, Bob had an extra one for me to use. Bob, Elizabeth and I rode out together since Bob knew where he was going. This was my first ride with Cylo since I bought him the previous Sunday, because I was sick all week after my bike ride. I dropped back fairly quick getting used to my bike and the new way to change gears. I wasn't too far behind and sometimes, I caught up to them. Cylo was faster, so much faster than my hybrid bike. My legs were burning and oh how my crotch/ass area hurt. I had to sit up off the seat a few lotta times. Eventually, Bob and Elizabeth left me, because I just couldn't hang with them speedwise. I lost them quickly on all of the hills.
Then, my worst fears happened; I got my first flat tire, while alone. I freaked out. I have taken a bike maintenance class before, but I didn't get to do it myself and I don't learn just by watching somebody change their tire on a bike that doesn't look like my bike. Finally, someone came by and reminded me about the number on the map and I called Wes. Elizabeth called me to make sure I was okay and I told her to go on since Wes was there to help me. He showed me what to do (again, not letting me do it) with some tricks. He did let me put on the front wheel, which was helpful. He also put air in my other tire so I wouldn't get a second flat. It was scary, but I got through it with help.
I finally made it to Monaville for the stopping point and I just stayed there for about 20-30 minutes. I was able to go to the bathroom, get some water, eat a honey stinger waffle, and just contemplate my ride. I had no desire to continue on with the rest of the loop, but I knew Elizabeth and Bob kept going. So, I took my time and eventually met Shelly. We rode back together and it felt good to have someone there to ride with for the remaining 9 miles. Also, it was nice that I was the faster one. That rarely happens. We talked about sports and life and all the dead animals on the road. Thankfully, the weather was cool and the clouds just started to part for some pretty blue skies on the way back to the car.
On a side note, we were by Waller and I missed it.
We made it back to the car and I just chilled out reading my book (Game of Thrones...OMG! So, much is happening now towards the end of the book) waiting on Elizabeth. It was such a great ride even with the flat tire and heart stopping panic. I started to feel like a cyclist instead of just a social rider. It also felt good to get out of the city for a change of scenery and ride my new bike. I can't wait to do it again, although, I hear the van won't be out there again until next season. Sad face.
Things I learned on this bike ride:
- When you hang your helmet on the bike so you won't forget it, remember to put it on the correct bike. I got home to find my helmet hanging on the hybrid bike, which is why I didn't see it at 5:50 a.m.
- Thankfully, it didn't rain, but it was supposed to rain. I forgot ziplock bags again for my phone. Plus, it's just good for the sweat.
- Watermelon is by far the best ever after biking treat. Elizabeth was a God send for having it.
- Speaking of food, make sure to go shopping for bread before the bike ride. I put my PB&J on a corn tortilla and it wasn't good at all. And the gluten free bread Elizabeth had for her sammich was just not good.
- I always air up my tires before every ride, which is why I haven't had a flat until now. I honestly didn't think it would need air. BIG MISTAKE! The biggest lesson I learned that day was it doesn't matter. Air up those tires anyways. I found out that my tires were so far below the psi they required and I didn't check that before I went out. I will never make that mistake again if I ever buy a new bike. I will continue to air up before each ride like I always do.
- OMG, my ass, crotch, neck, and back hurt so bad on the new bike. I'm dreading my bike ride tonight for my bike fit appointment, because I'm still sore. I should have done an Epsom salt bath when I got home, but the Texans were playing.
- Seriously need to get some new gloves. The new handles made my hands sore. I don't know why I can go into a bike shop and get everything I need to get, but not gloves. UGH!
I'm not sure when my next big ride will be, but I can't wait. And with Jim coming to join me next week, I will have a cycling partner that's also starting from my apartment with a bike rack capable car. YAY!