Sunday, June 24, 2007

No longer a group ride virgin!

(I didn't take this picture. The fields are still all green at this point!)

So on Friday afternoon a gal I know through the LBS asked me to come along on their Sunday morning group ride. She has been after me to come ride with her for a couple of months now. I have been resistant because I like to ride alone and because I was so sure that I would never be able to keep up with her and her buddies. (You should see the size of her quads and calves! She is a machine.) Normally Sunday mornings don't work for me. Church is important to us and our church doesn't have a Saturday night service. Anywho, for several reasons, I was able to make it to the ride this morning so I told her I would be there.

Last night I was so nervous I thought I wouldn't be able to sleep. I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to keep up, that everyone would know I was the biggest rookie ever, that I would get dropped and then be lost in the wilderness that is Western Iowa, that people would feel like they needed to slow down for me, etc, etc, etc. I am not strong on the bike, I am not a cyclist by nature, I don't do rides over 35 miles if I can help it, and I don't ride more than 20 mph for any sustained amount of time. I gathered all my stuff up last night. I put together my money (for snacks, Gatorade, and toll bridges) along with my ID, credit card, and cell phone in a baggie. I got my CamelBak ready to go. I took the aerobars off my road bike and pumped up my tires. (Yes, Mr. KT is very proud of my skills with an Allen Wrench.)

I got up and got dressed and in the 20 minutes I was awake before I left I almost talked myself out of going about 42 times. I kept reminding myself that the things that I have been the most afraid to do have been the best things I have ever done and the things that I have fallen in love with. For example, rock climbing, mountain biking, downhill skiing, riding in a VERY aggressive aero position, etc.

I met up with everyone at the directed parking lot in Bellevue, NE and we took off. Don't be late, or you will get left behind! We crossed the bridge into Iowa and rode East. We rode through Mineola to Silver City and then on to Glenwood and then back across the bridge. 47 miles total. 47 HILLY miles. We ascended over 2100 ft. Not bad for two states that are known for there flatness. Despite the hills, which I mostly felt good about, the weather was perfect. A little bit of wind, 74 degrees, some humidity, and clouds. There were six of us riding, two girls and four guys. Two of us were in our twenties, three in their forties, and a fifty something. I managed to hang on. I thought maybe they were slowing up a bit for me but come to find out that wasn't the case. We picked up an extra in Glenwood and then proceeded to drop her immediately. I felt bad about that but I may have been the only one. Three of us were triathletes the other three were cyclists.

The countryside was beautiful and the ride was great. I was feeling the effects of a fast (for me at least) 5K the day before about mile 40 but managed to hang in there. It is funny how Brett's "I see you hill" that I mentioned in my HyVee race report works. I used it on the really big ones this morning.

All in all, I will try to do more group rides. I like too ride by myself, but I will improve much more quickly riding with these people. (Especially when you have no sense of direction and fear that you may be lost forever if you get dropped.) =0)

Yay. Again, afraid of nothing.


Lance Notstrong said...

I rode alone for years. I love riding with a group now :-)

Duane said...

Way to step up to the plate!

Drew Holmes said...

you have been a busy girl!!!!!!! rock on! I am T minus three weeks to Omaha and looking forward to it

Jameson said...

Man, you are just breaking down barriers left and right. Nice.

I agree with Lance, riding alone is nice to clear the mind, but joining up with other folks is always a good time.

TRI-ROB said...

You ROCK girl! Keep doing those things that you're apprehensive about doing... and nothing will stop you! I just finished my first 1/2 IM a couple of weeks ago... I'm PUMPED!