Friday, April 09, 2010

Second Attempt = Better and dryer

As I said in my last post, I was going to get a pro bike fit done after I picked up my aerobars and go out for a second try at riding.  I couldn't believe how much I didn't want to go.  As I was loading my bike into the car, I just wanted to run back upstairs to my condo and never looking at it again!  I bit the bullet (as Matt so lovingly said "It's not called a half-let's-go-for-a-leisurely-stroll, it's called a half IRONMAN Heather, suck it up!") and packed it in, drove down to Ridley's Cycle (where they have a cheapest bike fits) and got the fit done.  I was worried they'd tell me that I needed a new bike, and that nothing was workable with what I had, but luckily there were only a few suggestions.  I think ideally I need a new stem (I barely know what that is), but it's not imperative, so I held off (since I just bought aerobars and a bike fit!) and got one of those water bottles with the big giant straw so that I can drink without having to grab my bottle from under me. 

After the fit, I drove down the street a little and parked by the little overpass over memorial drive and set off to cycle on the PATH around the bow river.  I'm amazed at how physically, I could do a lot more than I could last year.  I could ride in tougher gears, I could ride up little hills in those tough gears, and I didn't get tired in my legs nearly as much.  That being said, every time I got a little speed I would brake to slow down!  I'm such a chicken.  I rode past the shouldice (I think) soccer field, so I decided that on my way back, I would try to get into aero position in that field.  What scares me about it is that I have no access to my brakes in that position, so if I have to stop suddenly, I need to get out of aero, brake, AND unclip my feet.  Lots of things to remember when panicking.  I managed to get in and out of it a few times in the field but once I was back on the path, I was too chicken again!  Oh well.  I'll get used to it, I hope.  When I got back to my car, I actually almost fell again!  Luckily I was on an overpass when I decided to stop (so I wouldn't have to go down the overpass and make a sharp turn) and so I used the railing to keep me up.  I think I need to unclip my left foot first all the time, because I tend to lean that way.  I'll have to keep reminding myself to do that.  

Anyway, I feel a little better about the whole thing, though I'm going to have to log some major hours on the bike to feel more comfortable.  I'm going to try to to cycle a little bit outside every day that I'm home.  I was VERY thankful I got my ride in early in the day because the weather turned from nice to blizzard in about 20 minutes!  I was supposed to lead the run group out of the store last night because my boss was at his rehearsal dinner, but they canceled the run and I was off the hook!  Phewf.

It really is funny that my water poured on me when I fell.  It wasn't that funny at the time, but it's as if my bike was saying "Oh you think you can just hop on a ride?  Think again!!" and stuck it to me.  I'm glad you all enjoyed that part! 

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bike Fail

Yesterday I was super pumped to take my bike out for the first time with my shoe/pedal combo, where my shoes are attached to the pedal.  I know it's a little late considering the weather, but I've been waiting on some aerobars and wanted to take the bike in to get fit etc. with the bars, but the bars have been delayed, blah blah blah I'm scared so I didn't go.

Anyway, I bit the bullet, put some air in my tires, and set out.  I walked my bike through the street, over to the path, and got on, clipped in, and started riding.  I was thinking "oh this isn't that bad", rode, rode, rode, then noticed that my front tire was pretty low and I was almost riding on my rim.  I didn't want to wreck my tire or bike, so I weighed my options, toying between going home, putting air in, and going back out, or stopping at the gas station that was just a couple of streets over, and putting some air in my tire.  At this point, I hadn't tried stopping yet.  I decided to go get air at the gas station, so I left the path, went on to a ROAD, and freaked out.  I thought "I'm so not ready for this" and rode up on to the sidewalk, stopped, (still panicking), and then forgot to unclip my feet, panicked, unclipped the foot that was on the opposite side as the side I was falling towards, and fell.  Fell onto a truck, then down the truck, then onto a cement block, then on to the sidewalk, then my water bottle popped open and poured all over me.  Then a group of men walking on the other side of the road called over to see if I was ok.  I yelled back "um, yeah?" but was thinking in my head "how to I get my foot out??"  I figured it out, got up, started walking towards the gas station.  When I got there, I realized the air said "NOT FOR BIKE TIRES".  Awesome.  Then I walked home. 

I wasn't hurt, but I was shaken up, and of course, any confidence I had just went right out the window.  I'm a big ole chicken on the bike.  Now I'm worse.  I know I just panicked, and I forgot to remind myself I was clipped in, even though when I was riding I kept saying "remember your feet are attached to your bike".  I just had my mind on my tire, not my feet, and forgot.  But I really don't want to ride anymore.

Today I think I am getting the aerobars, so I'll take my bike in to get fit with the bars, then they can make sure it's all road ready, and then I can drive to a path where I won't have to ride on any road at any time and try again.  I need to try again soon, otherwise I'll get more and more scared.

I'm lucky I just walked away with a bump on my knee and a sore shoulder.  Oh and I was super embarrassed, since I then walked along the road at the same time as all the men who saw me fall.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Amazing Day

Yesterday was a day I was really looking forward to.  First thing in the morning, I planned on waking up and heading to the pool.  Well, I didn't do that.  (Ooops.)  Instead, I stayed in bed and read a riveting book, Into thin Air, which is about the Mt. Everest disaster of 1996.  It was written by the same guy who wrote Into the Wild (I guess he likes titles starting with "into"), Jon Krakauer.  Anyway, I'm hooked and really want to finish it.

After about an hour, I hopped up, and started making breakfast for my two friends (and bridesmaids), Katie and Kaitlin, who were due to come over around 10:00 to do some weddingy stuff.  I realized that I was out of a lot of things like milk, almond milk, fruit etc. which would put a damper on my breakfast.  So I walked the block to safeway and picked up what I needed (including cream for our coffee, which I NEVER get since I normally use milk, but it made the morning extra decadent) and finished up cooking breaky, made coffee, cleaned off the coffee table, compiled all that we needed to finish off our tasks, and waited for them to arrive!  (I got dressed somewhere in the too!)

We spent the morning eating, chatting, laughing, and ended up being VERY productive!  My method for the wedding is to get things done early so I don't have to freak out about them later.  I know it seems crazy to have the invitations all done and ready almost 6 months before the wedding, but I'm happier knowing it's one less thing on my to do list!  I would like to enjoy the month leading up to the wedding since we'll have family in town and I'd rather have time to have coffee dates instead of running around trying to find a guestbook. 

Anyway, we had a great morning, but I really missed my other two bridesmaids... Kristen, of course, is in Ottawa, and my other friend Vanessa is in Africa working at an orphanage, so they have missed a few of our crafty days.  I hope there will be other things for us all to do together!  (Though, I'm sure neither is complaining that they didn't get to lick envelopes and will be perfectly satisfied with coffee dates instead!) 

Then, I headed downtown to meet Matt, and then the two of us met with the minister who will be officiating our wedding to go over some details.  It was an awesome meeting, and he and Matt hit it off right away.  The minister is a long time family friend of ours, and I was really happy he could do our wedding.  I really liked his ideas and wording and flow and all that, so I left feeling really happy with the way our ceremony would "go". 

Then, we headed home, I had a quick bite to eat, and I went off to see my other friend Katie who was going to cut and highlight my hair for the last time since she's moving back to Nova Scotia!  It was a bittersweet visit, since we knew we wouldn't see too much of each other in the near future, but we had fun chatting and eating some chips and guacamole (and doing hair).

I ended my fabulous day with some vietnamese food and more book!  And visiting with Matt of course.  I felt so satisfied and happy with my day and fell asleep feeling amazing.

I just love great days!  And visiting with friends!  Amazing.