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Saddle-Less Drills and a Joyride on Old Lynchburg

After a couple weeks off, it felt goooood to get some cycling workouts in Thursday and Saturday. The workouts themselves were pretty night and day. Thursday I worked a lot with the guy who taught me a lot of road biking basics in late July and early August. And today I had a joy ride with a new biking buddy.

Thursday the mission was to get me better at ‘starting.’ You see, to get on my bike I do this awkward little hobble skip to my loo motion. Where I push off with my right foot until I get enough momentum to sit down and take a stroke or two of the pedals. It’s not the classiest looking move and it fails a lot … getting me into scary traffic situations sometimes.

So, N tried to get me to start with a full stroke with my left foot, then sprint for a bit to gain speed, then sit down and go in autopilot. When  I started getting a bit better at this I was even able to start on hills – a huge weakness in my game before. (Let us remember the time N pushed me part way up a hill so I could get going again….those were the days….)

Though, of course I didn’t make progress quickly enough because I was relying on my seat too much. It was like my butt and seat were magnetized. So, he took out  my seat (!!!), and I rode around and practiced sprinting and balancing without being able to sit in the saddle. We were out and about for 2 hours and my quads and arms were definitely DONE by the end of it.

In a post ride exhaustion haze! And I didn't know my shorts glowed!

I also got extra greasy being out of the saddle so much. And...this grease is so annoying to scrub off.

A lot of people give my crazy eyes when I tell them of awkward little drills I do with this dude. And while all this stuff is painful and annoying to do, I know at the end of the day I’m going to be a better cyclist later on because of it. It’s kind of like scales and finger workouts for the piano. Without the basics you have nothing. So while I moan and roll my eyes at some of the weird stuff this dude asks of me, I roll with it because so far I have not been led astray. I am getting better and more confident (and having more fun because of those first 2 things).

Today’s ride was a 20 mile ride to and fro Walnut Creek Park. It was a hot day today, but luckily this path is basically tree covered the whole way. After probably a month of fails, today I finally felt like I knew how to fuel myself properly. I had a high carb breakfast – cheerios, almond milk, and a luna bar – And took some shot bloks every so often in the ride. I also was really ON by water intake. The last time I did this route I was still terrified to reach down for my water bottle. I’m glad things have changed : )

This route definitely makes you swear at miles 7-10 but the way back is smoooooth sailing – full of coasters and rollers that made me remember why I love to bike. And this time I wasn’t afraid to really go for it on those downhills. I felt like I FLEW all the way home.

And i looked good doing it with my NEW jersey that I got 65% off a couple weeks ago. Huzzah! Jerseys are expensive but they sure feel nice....

After the ride I nommed down a delicious lunch and spent the rest of the day working in the lab. I’m so glad I got some activity in so I didn’t feel as slummy working all day.

Salad with produce from a CSA, apple with peanut butter, and part of a spinach calzone. I was a hungry gal.

Hope to hit the pool tomorrow! Also, I’m back to vlogging on a weekly basis. Click the video  tab above if you want to check out my latest video: Question Tuesday! I should have new videos up every Wednesday for the foreseeable future.

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2 Responses

  1. You need to do cycling in Chicago. Flat and 36 mile loop of the lakefront trail.

    • I need to go to Chicago period! It seems like a fun city! Hopefully science will send me on a conference there at some point.

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