As you should all know by now, I parade around town on a daily basis in my gentle daily persona as Tin Lizzie, riding Fauntleroy, a sturdy pale blue bike kitted out with fashionable and functional European accessories.
What you may not realize, is that I have a bicycle alter ego. Yes, much like Clark Kent, I swiftly change from mild mannered to a Lycra-clad, super-powered Roadie! Astride my sleek matte black Cannondale road bike, Donner, I race from one end of Arlington to the outer reaches of Herndon in a few swift hours.
At least, that’s the way it went for part of last year.
So now it’s time to shake the cobwebs off the alter ego and get Roadie again.
The Mechanic and I went for our first road ride last weekend, a not-so-gentle reminder that we are a bit out of shape. And since I was attempting my first long ride with clipless pedals, well, there was little super-power action going on. Let’s just say it was not the smoothest start, and leave it at that. Unexpected and intense shoulder pain forced me to turn back earlier than intended, and the next morning we were both crippled with some serious shoulder and neck pain. It’s been a while since we’ve done any mileage in that hunched over position! Maybe 23 miles was not the smartest way to “ease” into it.
Nevertheless, I am glad we did it, and was inspired to use my REI dividend points to get a new jersey and a top tube bag for Donner. New gear will inspire me to get back on the bike as soon as possible. And since I didn’t have any major incidents with the clipless pedals, I feel a bit more confident. In fact, I feel better prepared to fall. I am assured that I will, indeed, fall at some point. I’m not happy about that (I have a serious fear of breaking my nose or teeth), but if everyone else has done it, I guess I can too. Rite of passage, indeed.
However, I haven’t quite come up with an appropriate Super-Roadie alter ego, and am hunting for ideas. I’m open to suggestions – just nothing girlie!