Like learning how to ride a bike

Someone talked me into doing a triathlon. I won’t mention any names Carl Hogan.  As you may know, biking is not my strongest sport. Or a particular favorite. Probably because I fall over repeatedly after failing to clip out. (Who locks their shoes into pedals anyway?)

When the offer came last month to participate in a sprint distance tri, I figured it’d be a fun jumpstart to fall training. But I pushed the thought out of my mind until two weeks ago when the time came to practice the bike course. I was informed it was a hilly ride. (Great, I hate hills. Especially on a bike.) But once again, I figured it’d be a good thing to learn. I still struggled with understanding proper shifting, but my legs are strong and I could always use my cell to call County Cab.

With Carl at my side, I learned to keep my cadence up, use (not fight) my gears, pull up on the pedals to prevent quad fatigue, breathe (as opposed to not), keep my arms slightly bent as shock absorbers, oh, and have some fun while I’m out there.

Then halfway through our ride, he took off and yelled “You’re on your own now, remember what I said!” 

The theme song from Rocky began playing in my head as I conquered the last climb. (With a gear left over I might note for you cycling pros.) Yes, I remembered and shifted and breathed and rode faster than I ever imagined. Then I knew I was ready for a triathlon. 

I can’t say that the rest of my training was as intense. In fact, there really wasn’t much training beyond that since the fear was gone. I knew I could swim and run the distances, and now I had the cycling confidence. In fact, the last training day was so embarrassingly lame that I must share. See, Tara (Mrs. Hogan) and I intended to swim then run, but instead my eyes focused on the hot tub after the third lap. With very little persuasion, I convinced her to hot tub, then trade our run for a short walk. I really just wanted to see how my tri shorts and shirt would make the transition. (Very nicely, thank you Maplewood Cycling!)

Wow, I haven’t even mentioned triathlon day. Guess this is a two-part series!