Monday, November 1, 2010

Off Week Miscellanea

With Steve still having a bum wing and no “big” races happening this week, we decided to take the week off. Of course the housework that builds up every fall when we’re travelling all weekend still didn’t get done, but that’s okay, there’s always another day!

Part I. You CAN Forget How to Ride a Bike

But I still found time for a bike-related activity this weekend: Sunday afternoon I took my bike out for the first time since my surgery. I’ve never been a prolific bike rider, I think the longest ride I’ve ever done was from Georgetown to Bethesda and back on the Capital Crescent Trail, but lately I’ve been having aspirations (delusions?) of actually become a regular bike rider, and potentially even a cross racer myself.

My bike is a basic Specialized Rockhopper hardtail mountain bike, it weighs a ton but has the girly lower top tube and was a lot less intimidating to me than a road bike when I was shopping for it a few years ago. Of course I was convinced that I would hop on the bike and immediately pedal off on a 2 hour ride before it got dark, but it was not to be, and I was very glad Steve came down to the park with me.

The first problem I had was just sheer nerves. I haven’t ridden a bike in well over a year and I had no idea what it would be like to attempt it with my prosthetic leg. Since I can only stand on tiptoe with my left foot, I’m going to have to retrain myself to have that be the one I put down when I stop. It doesn’t come easy! The other problem was that my current prosthetic makes it quite difficult to bend my knee in the full pedaling motion. We lowered the seat to make it easier for me to get on and off, but then that made my pedaling even more awkward.

So all I ended up doing was pedaling around on the grass for about 15 minutes with Steve holding onto me the entire time. I am incredibly out of shape and this alone was exhausting. But we practiced mounting and dismounting a few times, and it started to feel more natural after just a few tries, which was good.

So what’s the takeaway? Well, I have a much longer way to go than I thought. But I’m determined! I’m hoping to start riding on a regular basis either on Steve’s trainer or at a gym, and I’m going to try to get out to the park at least once a week to start feeling more comfortable in the wild. Maybe by the spring I’ll be able to graduate to a road bike, and then in the fall who knows, I may be blogging about myself in addition to my friends!

Part II. I Hear Wisconsin is LOVELY in January

It was announced last week that the 2011 National Cyclocross Championships are going to be moved to January and will take place in Madison, WI. I am pretty excited to only have to travel halfway across the country to see the big boys and gals in action. As it is, I should probably just go ahead and take all of January 2012 off work, what with the nationals and world championships both taking place that month.

But in the meantime, I’ll be investing in plenty of fleece, down, and long underwear, and prepping for a cross-a-riffic winter next year!

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