John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Friday, May 18, 2012

And the Confidence grows

I am gaining confidence on the bike. I am attending rides where before I would have been way to chicken to even RSVP. On Tuesday and Thursdays, the MoCo Mafia rides in hilly Laytonsville. The I first time rode there I opted for the shorter route and could not believe how many hills there were. Seriously, my average for the 25 mile ride was 13 mph. They rode 5 miles further than me and ended up waiting a good 15 minutes for me to finish - yeah, that bad.

My aero inspiration!
Last night, I managed to hang with them for most of the first 16 miles. I did get dropped like a hot potato on two smaller hills but thankfully there were stop signs at the top, so they waited for me. Up until mile 16, my average mph was 19.5 = see the difference with my new bike? Around mile 16, we went down a very steep hill... like the warning signs said no more than 20 mph for cars, and I looked down and was going 26, but I knew there was a huge hill - think vertical at the bottom of the hill. I slowed a little, took the turn and started to pedal up the hill changing gears... when I dropped my chain. YUP - 1/4 of the way up a HUGE hill. Thankfully I unclipped or I would have fallen over. I yelled after E and said: What do I do? She replied: put your chain back on and crank it hard.

I was stunned for a minute, but didn't cry. There was no way I was going to be able to pedal up at this point.  I quickly made the decision to walk the bike down the hill, fix the chain and pedal hard up. I was actually going like 3 mph up the hill. And was dropped by a lot. I am positive they waited at the top of a series of hills for me forever - it felt like that. It hurt my spirit a little, but I knew I needed to finish before it got dark.

And thankfully, the gang waited. We still had 6 miles left of some nice flats but also more hills. My legs were burnt so they lost me on the flats despite me clocking 25 mph - before I was doing 18 mph here and thought that was fast. BIG difference.

E waited for me at another turn and we sort of chatted as we took on the hills. I watched her a lot on this ride, when she dropped, when she changed gears. I have concluded that I do not change gears enough and I waste me legs. Fine for training, but not so much in a race. I learned a lot by watching her. (Brag a little: E dropped her HIM time by an hour last weekend - SWEET!)

When we had just a small 3 mile flat stretch home, a new guy wanted me to practice drafting. I was SCARED TO DEATH of hitting him... plus we were in traffic so crashing wasn't really an option. He said I didn't need to be too close, that 2 feet would work.... ugh, I was so scared. But then I looked down and was doing 26 mph and barely working - cool... but not sure I will be doing this regularly though.

Hmmm, I wonder what this girl will be capable of when she gets confident in all three areas!!! Only time will tell.

BTW: I will be atempting my longest ride ever this weekend. I'll keep the distance a secret, but my longest ride to date is 54.3 miles and that was on Athena!


Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

How you go so fast down hills amazes me?! I don't ride anymore probably because I am waaay too chicken of the what ifs. Funny how falling of the side of the mountain doesnt scare me way but cars, potholes and broken chains 50 miles from home does.
You really are crushing those fears!
Enjoy your weekend ride!

Randi S said...

Hey Jen! :) You're doing great. Sorry I haven't been a good blog buddy lately. I've tagged you in a post.