What better way to celebrate the 4th of July (Independence Day) than for Tom and I to go cycling together. This also happened to be our last day of Independence from having kids. They have been vacationing without us in Massachusetts and in New York. Now don’t misunderstand me, we LOVE our kids *dearly*, but it was certainly different not having them around for the past 4 days. No football practices, shuttling to friend’s houses, swimming lessons, breaking up the little fights, or – worse yet – dealing with the “I’m bored”, “There is *nothing* good to eat” comments.
Now since cycling is my husband’s sport of choice, I was hesitant to join him. I have not been on my road bike since last year, and I didn’t want to hold him back too much. Last time we rode together I was sore from running and he was annoyed with my lack of speed. I didn’t want to repeat that again, and I WASN’T sore. I had no excuse.
Right from the start (our driveway in this case), it wasn’t going too smoothly for me. I switched from my old shoes to some new ones in late fall. My old shoes were on sale, but didn’t fit very well. Correction: they didn’t fit at all; they squashed my feet and I could not wait to get them off whenever I wore them. Since I have only used them on the spin cycles at my work, I was finding that they did not click-in easily to my pedals. So there I was, trying desperately to get my cleat securely into the pedal AND keep up with my husband…after leaving the house, and at each stop sign for the first several miles.
After I was finally getting the hang of it, I noticed that I wasn’t out of breath at all. This was a nice change. In the past, I would huff and puff like the Big Bad Wolf (blowing the little pig’s house down). I wondered if he was just being easy on me. I decided that it just didn’t matter – I was doing fine. I mentally gave myself a pat on the back and decided that I was comfortable enough to re-acquaint with my aero-bars. These are pretty cool if your wrists are aching as long as you don’t have to use the brakes very often. This is just my non-triathlete (this year) point of view on aerobars as I am sure that, like anything else, you can get used to moving back to the braking hold quite easily. Anyhow, by the end of the ride I was getting *very* comfortable with them. If you use more abdominal muscles (in pulling your legs up) and get real low on the bars, you can get going FAST.
I am not sure, but I think Tom might have been getting a bit nervous about cycling with me. I could be wrong, but regardless, I held my own out there and that felt good.