I am so excited for my next challenge! Cycling. I have been interested in it for a long time but always a bit too scared to do it. The tires are so thin, the clip in pedals look dangerous, riding on roads… I am still a bit nervous about all of it, but I am doing it any ways.
I got my bike last week but had to get some maintenance done on it and I needed to get clips for my shoes so I haven’t really had a chance to ride it. Finally on Sunday I had my chance. I rode with Coach Katie on a nice ride through the country, up and down hills… nothing too big. First this first ride I used normal bike pedals while I just got used to the bike and being on it. As usual, I need to learn how to relax! My upper body should be relaxed with my arms slightly bent… not, apparently rigid arms with a death grip on the handle bars. I needed constant reminders 🙂
Then I had to learn how to shift. WOW. This is very different from my regular old Schwinn bike. The shifters are too little buttons on each side and the brake handles that get “swiped”. Since Katie is an awesome coach I got lots of little cues to help me remember which shifter is used when. The best one – the little button on the left is the “easy button” for when I need to go easier quickly like when you are starting up a big hill. My shifting sounded pretty rough. My poor gears. Shifting is an art:)
Pedaling… yet another thing that is not as simple as it would appear. Since I had regular pedals and not the clip ins the other night I did not get to practice for real, but I did learn that I should be pedaling “lightly” while shifting and not trying to CRUSH the pedal.
Starting and stopping both need specials skills and cues as well. I have a lot to remember!
Last night I finally had a chance to ride my bike on my trainer.
The back tire gets bolted in the “trainer” and rolls against a spinning metal tube. The front tire gets balanced in a “climbing” mount (that I have flat).
Next I had to put the shoes on. You do NOT walk around in these!
My workout tonight involved a lot of different things including one-legged pedaling. That is tough! I have to learn how to pedal efficiently in a complete circle – not only pushing down on the pedal but also pulling up. It is harder than you would think. I had to do several intervals of this which also made me clip in and out multiple times. It was good practice.
Now I need to get outside and practice starting and stopping for real. I am told that I will most likely fall at some point while I learn. I am ready. I do need to get some gloves so my hands do not get too beat up. More to come!
- Posted in: Uncategorized