A male friend recently commented that he doesn’t read my blog anymore because it’s so fashion-oriented. Well, David, here’s a post for you! It’s all (well, almost all) bike related.
The Mechanic and I dusted off our road bikes today and went for our first ride in about 18 months. Yes, since I completed the Sea Gull Century in 2013, I simply haven’t ridden my road bike. That was mostly because our weekends became full of wedding planning, and after we returned from the wonderful bike honeymoon in Europe, we were uninspired to bike anywhere around here. But we decided to get back on the saddle and thus signed up for the CASA River Ride in Shepherdstown, WV. Neither of us have the interest in doing a century, and it’s not that far away, so a half-century it will be. Since we both bike to work everyday, I don’t feel like either of us are completely out of shape, but 50 miles is definitely more than we’ve done in a long, long time. Therefore, Sunday we started our “training” slowly with a quick jaunt on the Arlington Loop. We purposefully choose to bike Sunday, rather than Saturday, which was the better weather day. We hoped/assumed that a cooler overcast day would mean fewer people out on the trails. It was pretty crowded, so I can’t imagine what Saturday was like, when sunny weather topped 80*F. We saw tons of Spandex, several family groups, groups on hybrids, a woman and child on a tandem tricycle (never seen one of those before!), and several women with their dogs in the front baskets of their bikes. I’m glad so many people were out! But it made for slow going in places. At least, that’s what I blame our low MPH on… I was completely in love with the bright colors of every flower and blossoming tree, and wish I could have stopped to photograph every scenic spot we passed. I did pull over at the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial because I couldn’t resist the vivid red tulips. This is one of my favorite memorials in the DC area; I love the moment of it. Despite the fact that I haven’t biked more than 13 miles in any given day (and that not all at once), I feel pretty good. My elbows ache and my right shoulder that hurts from desk stuff still hurts, but I don’t feel it in my legs. Thank goodness! I think even with a few weekends of long rides, we’ll be ready for 50 miles. After all, isn’t it a mere 15 or so mile between pit stops?!
In other bike-y news, we went to Target yesterday (dammit I missed the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection release Sunday morning and everything I wanted had sold out by noon!) and found some slightly horrific bike assembly. I was admiring the manly “Utility” bike bags (which I think are really great, by the way), and we wandered over to see what sort of bike they had available – what a mistake! The fork on a cute red Schwinn was on backwards, and the handlebars on another bike were on backwards. Yikes! This is obviously one of many reasons to buy from a small bike shop (any bike shop), but it’s so horrifying that employees put these bikes together incorrectly, then some unsuspecting person purchases them and doesn’t know the difference and hates biking because it’s uncomfortable. Gah! I Tweeted a picture and Target actually Tweeted back to inquire at which store this was, so they could contact management. I appreciated that – although I still wouldn’t buy a bike there.
It felt really great to get out and do some serious biking on my lightweight bike (whee, speed!) and feel that muscle burn that I’ve missed. I did have to psych myself into our ride this morning but now that I’ve done it, I can’t wait to go again! Is it sad to hope the weather is less than stellar so that there are fewer people out?!