Road Biking 101

35-mi-ride-to-sauvie-islandAfter 36 hours of monsoon-like rain, the clouds broke on Saturday morning to reveal a beautiful day. This means only one thing to a girl with the whole afternoon to kill:  BIKE RIDE!!!

I’ll be honest:  I’m relatively new to road biking. As a Portland transplant (and as an Earth-conscious human being) it seems only right that I should move into bicycle commuting as my primary mode of transportation–but that is really the extent of my road biking skills. While I got my bike over 2 years ago, I’ve never hauled more than 10 miles on it, and never saw through those intentions of doing a triathlon during the 1+ years of dealing with a sports injury.

In any case, I found myself yesterday thinking:  just get your butt off the couch and go for a long ride! Thankfully, I listened to my inner voice and had a great day of just cruising through the sun.

That said, I learned a few lessons:

  1. Always be sure your saddle is adjusted to the appropriate height and angle for a long distance ride. If it isn’t, your legs will hurt, your back will hurt, and maybe even other parts will hurt. Moral of the story:  adjust before you get on the road.
  2. Don’t be surprised if you get bored on the road. I thought that this ride would be some great zen time for thinking after I pushed through the initial couple of miles. While that definitely happened, I remember thinking to myself at one point, “this would be way more fun with friends.” Maybe I’m just a competitive person, or maybe (just maybe) I’m an extrovert.
  3. Be prepared for fatigue to hit at mile 20. This was the lamest part of the ride. I did all the right things:  I paced myself, drank plenty of water, and even stopped for a nourishing salmon burger at the delightful Kruger’s Farm Market. Maybe I should have had some Gu with me….because the trek around the Sauvie Island loop was tough, and not from a quaking muscle standpoint–I just was too tired to keep pedaling. The best solution to this seemed to be to stop and stretch. Then I pedaled more.
  4. Breaking through 10 miles to hit 20+ isn’t easy. There will be sweat. There will be huffing and puffing. There may even be a little vomit. But you will live. Disclaimer:  Any combination of the aforementioned events may (or may not) have happened to me.
  5. Endorphins are a killer. Seriously:  they laid me out. I stopped at a local store in the 3rd to last mile to ask a question about their products, simply because I was in the neighborhood and it seemed logical. I totally underestimated the ability of my endorphins to totally floor me. It was awesome, but I may have scared the people at Performance Mobility.  Oops.

All told, the trip was a success:  I got a bounty of fresh veggies and fruit from Krugers, my Felt F85 held up, and I even proved to myself that I could indeed ride 30+ miles. All told, it was a great day.