Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Ride Flop... (Should I even post this?)

It's easy for me to say I'm not perfect. I have many faults and I'm my own biggest critic. I'll save the dive in this deep end for another time, but for now I'll just tell you the story of my first ride on my R2 today and how I blew that one.
Well, I decided since I have missed 6 of my 16 training hours for the week due to scholastic duties, and since I have this beautifully new bike just sitting in my room with me, why not suck it up, layer up, and ride? The ride turned into quite the memorable one. Let's just say, I took the long way home and couldn't make it back before the sun had decided to set.
Let me back up for a second. My ride actually started off on the wrong foot. As I was debating whether or not to actually go out and ride, I naturally checked the weather widget on my mac's dashboard. The  thing reads 36 DegF and partly sunny. "Right on," I think. Wrong. I had forgotten to change the widget to tell me weather about Indiana, Pa from Annandale, Va. I realized this mistake after I was snugly in my room after the ride.

Anyway, my ride was going just fine. I mean I guess it was actually 5-6 degrees colder starting off than I had been lead to believe, but I was feeling strong, excited, and able-bodied. I was actually happy with myself for putting on as many layers as I had, packing a second pair of gloves, and fearlessly venturing out when others would wisely turn tail and sit on their trainers. Sure it was cold, but I was dealing with it and getting it done. Time seemed to fly and I was enjoying battling the elements. Honestly, another reason I was out there was that I had just read this blog entry from Steevo and it got me itching to make my own adventure.

Miserable... I may have gotten there, but not until the very end of my allotted ride. What happened was... The cold and wind, during my 2hour 45min ride, had been whipping at my eyes causing them to do that glazed, bloodshot, blurry vision thing all cyclists will know. That, coupled with the setting sun, made for a tough admittance of defeat. After 34+ miles of nice easy tempo riding, I finally pulled over at the Creekside convenient store and called for a ride home.

2hours 45min earlier when I embarked on this ride, I really did not think the sun would be setting as early as it was. Should have looked that up, but I didn't even know how long I would be, how much (of the elements) I could tolerate, or how poor my vision would become.

What really got me scared and ultimately to call the ride was that blurry vision. Cars passing with their headlights on (due to the setting sun) rendered me nearly blind. I could not see the road in front of me and I did not want to misread anything and go down, especially on my new bike. It was as if their headlights were magnified by the addition of a large bright circle of intense light around each headlamp. I also knew, blurry vision or not, that I was not about to try to head through steadily dropping temperatures and coming nightfall with still about 20-25 minutes left to ride. Pulling up to the convenient store I knew I had no other choice.

I first called my girlfriend and reception was terrible where I was plus I had forgot that she didn't know exactly how to get to me. I then called my good friend Jon and he was able to get me, knowing exactly where I was too. My feet were numb, my thumbs were numb, my body was losing heat and I bought some candy to calm me down. By this point it was about 20-19 degrees out and I was extremely appreciative of my friend picking me up.

I guess that's my story. I feel like an idiot, but who cares? I don't know there is a lot I should have been more careful to check. Oh well... it was an adventure worth of a first ride on a new bike. I was happy to log 2hours 45min! Tomorrow, I'll be heading to the gym. Studying for finals is kicking into high gear. Cycling will have to be a pastime. Thanks for reading.

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