|Does this count as a trail?|
I still haven't gotten into a groove with riding. I never thought that I would feel so claustrophobic in the vastness of the open prairie, but it's a little unnerving with how much space there is. If someone is chasing you, there is nowhere to hide. I have no sense of direction and worry if I wander too far away I'll just keep going. I also thought I would never miss climbing but boy I do. I used to think in terms of thousands of feet which has since been readjusted to hundreds, the most climbing I've had thus far is 761ft. over 50 miles (no shifting out of the big front chainring either...). Normally that would have equated to roughly 5,000 to 8,000 feet of climbing depending on the route. The one benefit is that it's teaching me to pedal, because it's so flat there is no coasting, just lots of pedaling.
|Story of my life: Surrounded by dudes at a bike race|
|At least I look fast, right?|
|I have no idea what I'm doing|
I have yet to see too many people when I'm out riding though. Which is a little disconcerting as I've had many near misses with cars. Cars here just aren't aware to watch for cyclists on the road. I've taken my cross bike out just to get away and onto gravel roads away from traffic which is great, except for when I flat or double flat as I did today. The first time about 4 miles down a desolate road that had posted "travel at your own risk" at the beginning which I thought would be perfect for the bike.
I was about 6 miles out still when I stopped to put more air in because it was looking a little low and needed to make it back to town because I have a very, very short list of people I know to call. I pulled over and touched the valve core when it blew. No! So I did what anyone would do 6 miles from town with not a soul in sight, I threw my bike and hand pump into the ditch and sat down to cry. Mid cry I stopped hoping that I would be able to find my hand pump when I finished because it's a nice little one but then carried on for a few more minutes before digging it and my bike out of the weeds. Luckily I have one classmate's phone number who was free to come pick me up. I was talking to Sully later about it, how alone I feel when riding and in general here and how in Colorado someone would have been out there with a spare tube. To which Sully added, "yah, and you're a girl so you would have gotten so much free stuff in Boulder."
Adjusting to riding has been hard, the one thing that has been constant in my life for the past four years seems to be crushing my soul here. I know it will get better, and over time who knows maybe I'll really end up liking head winds and I'll be really fast at changing flats and dodging cars. As a result of my angst from some of my rides I've started running. I was so upset (mainly from a car almost hitting me) with how crappy a ride was this weekend that the next day I just started running and kept running for 9 miles, it was definitely a much needed spirit journey.
|And now I do things like this...for fun|