My first 40-mile bike ride was actually 36 miles and I'd like to give a shout-out to Jesus for cutting off those last four miles. HOLY CRAP. I don't know if my legs were overworked or I wasn't fueled enough or I'm just a wuss but today's ride kicked my butt... and left a lasting imprint there.
I knew I might be in trouble when, the night before, I asked my friend Kathi what I should wear for the ride. It was going to be windy and in the low to mid 50's. Her text reply:
Long sleeves and/or arm warmers, a cycyling jersey, a vest or light jacket, light gloves, toe caps and an ear band. Legs will need knee warmers or leg warmers or light tights or capris over your cycling shorts.
Uh-oh. So, I own no biking gloves, no toe caps, no ear bands, no knee or leg warmers and no cycling tights. I realized all this at about 10 pm last night.
I did my best and pulled on yoga pants under my cycling shorts (because the yoga tights over the padded butt shorts is not a look I relish) and pulled on arm warmers and a jacket, stuck on a headband under my cycling helmet and hoped for the best.
Temperature wise, I was fine. I actually peeled my arm warmers off half-way through the ride. But I knew I was in trouble when I was panting for breath and getting dropped on the hills around mile 18.
Part of the issue was I hadn't probably learned to use my gears. I was in the small ring for most of the ride before Kathi coached me on staying more in the big ring with a higher cadence so I could keep up with everyone. At that point, however, the damage was done. I was wiped.
For all that, I still had a great ride. I love being on the bike, love being out in the sun, love being with friends and talking/not talking as we cruise along. I even enjoy tackling hills, knowing how good the release will feel when the next downhill comes.
I'm ready for my next REAL 40-mile ride. I have a better fuel strategy, better gear strategy and better "go out slow and don't try to act like a badass the first 10 miles of the ride" strategy. That, and I'm heading to the Trek store tomorrow to drop a small fortune on winter biking gear.