Sunday, February 1, 2015

I'm Learning to Handle My Bike and it's Not Pretty

Just over a year ago I made the following proclamation:


Thankfully, I gave myself the caveat that I might wait until 2015.  Well, 2015 is here, and it's time to get serious!  So I am seriously working on my swimming, biking, and running skills this year. Sure, I've got a couple of marathons under my belt, but I still have a lot to learn.

The last time I talked about my bike handling skills I may have fibbed a little.


But no more tricks. I have to get much more comfortable on my bike if I'm going to do races that will include long distances and time spent on roads.

I'm nervous about my handling skills, which means I need to avoid work on them.  A couple of weeks ago I went to an empty parking lot and practiced some fancy maneuvers.

First, I rode in wide circles.


I did this in *both* directions, I'll have you know.

Those progressed into figure eights.


For the sake of argument let's just say they really were figure eights and not bloated, disproportionate wiggles. Just go with it.

And, I practiced one-handed riding.


I'm pretty good at taking the left hand off, but not the right.  Apparently people normally steer better with their non-dominant hand so I'm doing the opposite of normal, as I learned from Bruk.


Translation: "You're weird".

Last weekend I took my bike out on the path for my very first solo ride! I practiced 12 miles of hills, curvy trails, and some tight turns.  I also worked on that one-handed business again.  I got my right hand off the bar for a couple of seconds a few times but always felt like I had to catch the bike so I didn't fall.  However, I was able to take my left hand off long enough to scratch my nose!!


Just kidding. I would never close my eyes.


I really did scratch my nose though. It was very exciting.

Yesterday I decided to take my bike out in the neighbourhood.  It was a really foggy day so I considered covering myself in the fancy running lights TriGuy got me, but I would have looked like a one-woman rave.


TriGuy found me some bike lights instead.

I managed 3.5 miles of technical work before the cold made my fingers and toes numb and I could not stop shivering.


Good thing I was so close to home!

I know that the more time I spend on my bike doing these little drills, the better I will feel. I probably just need to wear another layer or two for the next few months to ward off hypothermia.


That should do it.

UPCOMING POSTS: HOW I'M MAKING CHANGES TO TRAINING, SWIMMING, RUNNING




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34 comments:

  1. Brllliant post. Me too! I ran two marathons last year and this year I am booked to do an Olympic distance Triathlon. The catch is I cannot do front crawl and my cycling skills are terrible. I have only ever been on the road bike around a handful of times and most of that was with my eyes closed, or at least it felt like it. It is exciting though isn't it? I have really only just started training for this and thetri is in July. I will be watching your progress with interest. More posts please, they are always funny and amazing.

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    1. Moonboots this is so cool! I will be following you too!
      And thank you. I will try to post more often...I'm not always motivated to.

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  2. Well happy 2015. I was wondering what happened to you, and now I know. I don't even own a bicycle, so you're way ahead of me. As a person unaware that there is an "Olympic length triathlon" (which I thought was ski/shoot/snowboard...okay, I don't watch the Olympics), I admire your aspirations.

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    1. Happy 2015 to you as well, sir! Thanks Pickleope--it's going to be a big year, I hope.

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  3. Hahahah "olympic distance triathalon." While I continue to work towards my 2015 goal of doing JUST ONE STINKIN PULL UP DAMNIT. SIgh.

    Also, brrrr.

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    1. I can't do a pull up either!! Those things are so hard!!!

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  4. Very funny :) Guess you should have had a 'real' bike when you were little and learned to ride in a snowstorm with a snowsuit on

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    1. I did have a real bike, I just chose not to ride it :) But it did not occur to me to wear a snowsuit on it.

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  5. So Tri Guy included fancy eyelashes in that glittery light pack, I see. Blink blink Let eyelash batting commence!

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    1. Of course he did, Kymberly!! You have to bat glittery eyelashes because they are so incredibly annoying!

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  6. Awesome! I won't ride my bike if its under 50 degrees. Brrrr....

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    1. Yeah, it's chilly! But I feel like if I don't get out there now I'm going to put it off until June and then it will be too late!

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  7. Your posts are the most entertaining!!! I am not a fan of bike riding even in nice weather! :) If I lived within walking distance of hills, I might do the mountain bike thing but don't hold your breath! :)

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    1. Thanks Jody :) Wait! Fit at 57?? Already? Geez this past year went by fast! I think mountain biking is awfully brave!

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  8. I AM THE WORST BIKER EVER! THE WORST I TELL YOU so um, you're freaking Lance Armstrong to me!! ha ha ha!

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    1. So was I! You know how they say "You never forget how to ride a bike"? Well I forgot, and I had/have to learn again!

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  9. OH I LOVE YOU
    and I WANNA come with you.
    may I ride my big wheel?

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    1. You can DEFINITELY ride your big wheel? I'll break out my raver lights!

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    2. That was not supposed to be a question. *You can definitely ride your big wheel!*

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  10. LOVE your artwork! And kudos for getting outside on a bike in winter--that is hard!

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    1. Thank you! Our winters are not snowy here, just cold sometimes :)

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  11. Just keep practicing! And don't avoid riding with other people because it's a whole different experience and you need to do it to get better at it (if all that makes sense). I can laugh at myself now, but I remember when I got my first real (skinny tires) bike, the first time I had to ride a long downhill I had to brake if I started to get even close to 20 miles an hour. Six months later I rode my first century and at one point I got up to 40 miles an hour on a downhill and I (nervously) enjoyed it. So it just takes practice. You'll get it :-)

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    1. Thanks Debbie, that is my plan! And yeah, 20 miles an hour downhill sounds very scary to me!

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  12. I admire your tenacity. I would need a gaggle of co-Tri people to keep me on my training schedule. But I would be more likely to go out on my bike if it made me look like a rave on wheels.

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    1. Yeah innatejames, a rave look might be a great motivator!

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  13. Your ambition always amazes me, and I'm sure your work on the bike will pay off. I've hardly ever ridden a bike as an adult, and when I do I feel nervous. I remember riding all over as a kid, though, and riding down the street with no hands. (Long time ago!)

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    1. Thanks so much Marcy. It absolutely just seems to get easier with with practice, so I forge ahead!

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  14. Pffft, that's nothing! I can go completely without hands on my bike. Oh, and I basically just keep my eyes closed throughout the workout...then again, that might have something to do with it being a stationary exercise bike, but still!

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    1. Oh yes!! I'm a pro when it comes to the stationary bike too :D

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  15. Loved going through your adventurous bike ride. :)

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    1. Thanks Vinitha! It is definitely an adventure!

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