Ok, so I actually got out of bed at 6am this morning, got ready for my ride, put the cat in his carrier without incident, ate breakfast and loaded the bike. All by 7am! I took the little guy to the vet – he had to get pretty much all his yearly shots today, so he wasn’t in the best mood later. He’s over it now, of course.
Anyway, headed from the vet to the Benbrook YMCA to get started on my ride. My goals right now are to continue to build up strength and endurance on the bike, get used to the course (this was my 3rd time riding the whole thing), practice THAT hill and if possible, drop some time. It was a nice morning, but still a little humid. I sweat a lot, but today was ridiculous. I’m going to need to wash the bike! Actually, that’s one of the reasons you need to clean the chain/gears often if you sweat a lot. The good: experimented a lot with gear preference for this course and finally think I found my ‘home base’ gear – and I even know how to get there! hehe. The bad: um, if YOU are sweaty, chances are that sweat will make it onto your fingers -which in turn touch the brake handles occasionally – which in turn become slippery. Need to figure out how to dry the brake handles while riding. Not cool when your fingers slip off the brakes when you would really like to use them.
Another interesting part about my ride were the turkey vultures, at least that’s what I think they are. I encountered the first one when it jumped out onto the road from the bushes about 100 meters ahead of me. Um…..ok, now what. All I could think was that I didn’t want to be the story on the news that night of “Local woman cyclist attacked by turkey vulture, seen freaking out and falling off bike – video footage at 11.” Seriously. So I turned around, let a car pass me…. maybe he could scare the bird away. No joy. So I took the long way around through a camping area, cause no way was I going to chance it.
Of course, only about a mile later while approaching the top of The Hill, there were about 8 or 9 of them just hanging out – luckily well away from the road. I was honestly spending all my worry energy trying just to make it up the hill, but I was thinking about them on the way back to hill, but I remained calm and we let each other be. It helped that there were about 8 other cyclists in my general area that had clearly NOT been attacked, so that made me feel better about my chances. I actually stopped at the top of the hill on the way back and took a picture of the lovely message painted on the rode and a view of the lake from the hill [to be posted when they get to my inbox]. I did not take a picture of the birds. Why risk it.
All in all a good ride, pretty much about the same time as before. Guess I’ll need to do it again. The kicker came when I decided to run a quick, short lap around the track next to the Y. Just 1/3 mile. Ha. Ha. Ha. Yeah, there is a reason that you’re supposed to practice running after you bike. It took the entire 1/3 mile to convince my legs that I was in fact now running and no longer on the bike, so they should start trying to run like they were running and not still pedaling and drop the 100 lbs of lead in them. Ugh. That was not cool. I’m definitely going to have to do that again.