Sunday, July 12, 2009

4 hours 27 minutes & 12 seconds

4:27:12 is how long it took us to ride 53.69 miles today. We picked up Casey & Jessee and headed out for an adventure. Paused for lunch, cause it was lunch time and we were hungry. Tammy, Jesse and I dropped Casey off at 42.75 miles and we rode onward. Jessee was dropped off at 50 miles. With the distance to and from home, Tammy and I were able to ride further than we've ever been able to safely ride on our bicycles. To say we are proud of ourselves is an understatement. Well right now we're a little more tired with our proud though.

Today we were able to ride our bikes a long distance, with a respectable average speed of 12 mph. However this has not always been the case and if you think you cannot go out and ride, read on, but see your physician first. :o)

On a sunny, June Sunday morning in 2003 Tammy & I woke up, with the hair-brained idea to purchase a bicycle. We went to the only place open to purchase our bikes, CMT Sporting Goods (which has since closed). We hopped on and tried out a few different bikes, opting for a mountain bike, because we were quite chunky (me = close to 300 pounds) and thought those sinny road tires would in no way be able to support our weight.

We bought spiffy red and white Specialized Hotrock's, one red helmet (Tammy) and one black helmet (me). We squeezed them into the back of our Toyota Celica, cause appareantly we had not thought far enough to think about bringing them home.

Once home we re-attached the tire and headed out for our first spin! :o) We live in Old South West so we were able to connect quickly to the beginnings of what is now a wonderful greenway system (the same one we went 53.69 miles on today).

Tammy started shouting to stop, less than half a mile into the ride at the first low water bridge, then there was a myserious problem with her bike before the second bridge, we walked up the hill at the end, just before turning left onto Wiley. Where we went to the bleachers to rest. This is 2 hours into it and no water cages (an oversight on our part and lost sales on their part.) so we found a water fountain.

After we rested a few, we headed back out. This is when Tammy turned really red and we discovered she does not like it when my inner cheerleader/coach comes out to help. We have another name for it, you'll have to ask next time you see me, it would take this blog out of the PG rating. We got off on (what is now) a slight incline, but seemed like a hill then, so we could walk up. Then a slight down hill and walking over the Walnut street bridge and a downhill, with some flat and another walking section. You get the point? We arrived home over four hours later, guzzled a lot of water and hopped in the car. We had to go drive the distance cause well an odometer did not exist then either.

Thinking we had gone at least ten miles, we were disappointed to find out it was four and some change. Though we did not stop! We invested in some gel seat covers, cause we were thinking bicycle shorts did not come in a size that would stretch across a VW Bug. We later found out they do. So we got a couple a pair, Tammy's a size smaller than me of course, these crazy hips of mine. We also strapped an old military canteen on, so we could take water and took frequent stop breaks.

We kept at it and every day we would go out on what became our "Regular Ride". By the end of the summer it was under an hour, now we can ride it in approximately 15 minutes. It is a fun memory to have.

I think about those days whenever we ride past someone, visibly struggling. I want to encourage them and offer any suggestions, but concerned they would not receive it as it would be intended. I do mention as we pass "have a nice ride", so that we do not just glide by. We had all sorts of people fly past us in those days, leaving us panting in their dust.

It is tough to keep going out there when it is that much of a struggle and I am glad we did. My tips for you if you want to give it a go are as follows. After talking to your physician, find a friend that will ride with you. Set out and see what you can comfortably do and it is ok to walk the hills. Or even zig-zag up hills, that takes away some steepness. Do what you can and ride that as often as you can to build up your strength, then try another ride, sightly longer (that's another funny story right there) and do that on a day you can take the next day off. Ask and read whenever possible, there are tons of books, magazines and people out there to get advice from.

Be like Nike and "Just Do It"!

No comments:

Post a Comment