Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Back in the Saddle Again

My recovery weekend is past, I still feel pretty cruddy, but that's because of allergies rather than illness. It's time to get moving again. I'm going to take it slowly getting back into the training this week, but after last week's garbage food binge, I have been able to police my diet a little better. I've cut back on the junk food and that's probably one of the more significant factors in my recovery.

I have been without a bike for a few days and I can't believe how much I have missed it! The other morning I got up to ride to work and my rear tire was flat. Now, a flat tire shouldn't be a serious obstacle, but it has been for me this week. I am still quite new with my bike and although I am a fairly efficient and skilled do-it-yourselfer, I haven't had the time to fix the blasted flat. I was also a little reticent to get into the mess of it partly because of laziness, partly because of an irrational fear of damaging my bike. (I don't know what kind of phobia that translates into...)

Anyway, I got past that feeling and on Sunday night I sat down and fixed the flat...without checking the tube for the offending item. I replaced the tube and promptly found the repaired tire going flat once again. UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!!! I kicked myself many times for that little error. So I now had two tubes to patch instead of one. On the bright side, I got some much-needed practice in repairing a flat tire. I have a century ride coming up in a couple of weeks and it would be pretty miserable if I were to flat and not know how to fix it myself. I have another fear, that of being identified as a novice, which I am, but I try and fake it as much as possible. I hope to ride the Harpeth River Century with some experienced riders and get used to riding in a group, but if they see me as a novice, they may be less willing to let me ride with them. As a cyclist friend of mine puts it, "If you don't look the part, people might be nervous to ride with you because they'll think you're squirrely." So, I figure it's a lot about the image, including shaved legs, cycling jersey, cyclocomputer, and all that jazz.

Speaking of cyclocomputers, I just got one, a Vetta V100 wireless with cadence. That little machine is amazing! I only got a 15 mile ride in today, but the information I gleaned from the computer made me understand a lot about my current ability and potential on the bike. I'm excited to get out there and really work this weekend.

I'll finish with one last anecdote. As I was leaving work this morning, the security guard laughed and said, "Amazing." I asked what he meant and he said, "I think it's amazing that you ride in here on your bike almost every day because you like to and there's another guy who is doing the same thing, but he constantly complains about having to ride. I don't get it." We chatted a little more and I rode home proud of the fact that people notice my riding and are actually impressed by it.

I'm probably reading more into it than there is, but it's definitely worth some points for incentive.

In the words of the legendary Eddy Merckx, "Ride lots."


Michele said...

Welcome back. Glad you are feeling better.

The first time I got a flat tire, it was actually both tires, I took the bike to the bike shop and let the pros fix it. The next flat I got took me 45 minutes to change. I am in real trouble if it happens during a race.

Lance Notstrong said...

I like the Eddy Merckx quote, "don't buy upgrades, ride upgrades" :-)

teacherwoman said...

I came across your blog while checking out another blog. Sounds like you had quite a time with your bike. I can honestly tell you I wouldn't know what to do in the same situation. Maybe I should learn!

Lana said...

I am totally with you on trying to fake it...haha...I don't wanna be spotted as a novice either...and faking it really makes me nervous!! I've had my bike over a year now, and have done 1 metric century with a group, but I still feel like a novice when I'm with, what I call "real cyclists".