Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Did I win the lottery?

With the injury Michael sustained on our July 3rd bike outing, I wasn't expecting him to be up for riding the next day. Since we always ride together...well, I always ride with took a while for me to realize that I could still ride on Independence Day without my bike buddy.

Now this may not seem like a totally impressive stepping stone considering that I was planning on going back to Cutler Park, which isn't a hard ride at all, and I have technically ridden by myself before around Southie. However, it IS impressive -- and here's why:

Basically, I would have to take all the responsibilities that Michael covers and put them on my plate. Such incidentals include: making sure all equipment is functioning normally, driving to and back from the riding site, lifting my bike up and down off the rack and securing my bike to the rack.

As far as the equipment, I needed to actually (for the first time ever) check that my tires weren't over or under inflated. I needed to make sure all chains were where they needed to be and I had to pay extra attention to my bike while I rode. That last one sounds silly, I know. Believe me, you're going to read a lot of silly sounding things in this blog entry. The truth is though, Michael has always been the one that let me know if my bike isn't functioning properly. I'd love to say I have the ability to tell, but I don't. If I have a tire that is losing pressure -- I don't notice, but he does. If my derailer is bent and causing my chain to skip off the gears, I CAN tell something is weird -- but I figure I'm just doing something wrong and keep going. Michael is like the pit boss when it comes to our equipment, so for this ride I had to make an extra effort to become more in tune with the Wahoo.

Alright, so I know "driving to and back" reads like I was just trying to make my list of solo ride responsibilities longer -- but the truth is that I HATE driving in Boston. I have a doctor that I see every once in a while that is on the way to Cutler Park and every time I have an appointment that I have to drive myself to I get a little ping of anxiety. Top that with the fact that I had to take the Pterodactyl since my car doesn't have a bike rack and the butterflies start dancin' in my belly.

Finally, the whole lifting and securing the bike was the most overwhelming "Michael" thing I had to do. I can lift my bike, don't get me wrong. But it takes a little extra control to lift it and place it exactly where it needs to go then hold it steady while securing it in place. It's just one of those things that is awkward (read: not impossible -- just awkward) when you are only 5'1 and 98lbs. Then of course I had to make sure it was secure about 55 times before actually starting to drive home.

Other than those things, which I handled really well to be honest, the ride was carefree. I went around only 3 times because it was so unbelievably hot. It doesn't show on the pic below that it was over 90 degrees and really humid that day. The end of my water also came with the end of my third lap, so I knew if I went around again I'd feel terrible. But three laps with an average speed of 9 miles an hour is pretty acceptable as far as I'm concerned so I ended up very satisfied with myself.

But as a point of caution for Michael, it isn't really that good of an idea to have your adorable wife ride by herself too much because I definitely got a lot of interested looks from fellow riders. When I got back to the car at the end of my ride I started up the engine to get the A/C going while I loaded everything up. Consequently the music turned on and I got to listen to some awesome 90s rock. Well, a guy that was getting ready to start his ride came over and opened with the line, "A hot girl that bikes AND listens to Pearl Jam. Did I just win the lottery?"

"Nope, just another losing ticket dude. I'm married."


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