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.


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