A couple of months ago, my friend Cat talked me into biking 30 miles at the Back Roads Century in the Shenandoah Valley. I figured that since I had done 30 last June at the Tour de Cure, I could do it again.
Hey, cycling can be addictive. What can I say? Plus, my friend Melanie and her husband Scott had decided to join our little group. They, along with Cat, are some of my favorite people so I was looking forward to this ride.
Before I continue, I must clarify that I am not primarily a cyclist. Biking is something that I do on the side, since it’s the form of cardio that I enjoy the most. But mainly, I am a bodybuilder, with biking as my number 2 priority.
This also means that I had not been on the road since June, on occasion of the Tour de Cure.
Yes, I had been spinning all right. I do that once a week. I love that class and it’s a good way to add cardio to my otherwise relentless lifting program, as I am prepping for a show next year. Therefore most of my energy goes to my figure competition routine. And although spinning can be very helpful, riding indoors is not exactly like riding outdoors on the actual road.
You see, when you spin, you have control of your ride. If the resistance gets to be too much, you can always dial it down. The road on the other hand, is relentless. If you are climbing a hill and it gets too hard, you have only two options:
- You keep plodding until you conquer the hill; or
- You come to a screeching halt, hope you don’t fall off the bike, get off the bike, and push it on foot until you reach the top.
Needless to say, I was a bit worried about my endurance at the Back Roads Century.
As luck would have it, I needed not to worry.
But I digress…
At any rate, we arrived at around 8 a.m. to the site on a crisp, clear Sunday morning. I had been concerned about the cold since my rides had been all in the summer and the weather forecast was not promising in that regard.
And of course, since cold weather has arrived sooner than expected, there wasn’t a thermal long-sleeved biking shirt to be found in any store for love or money.
In the end, I settled for a nice Under Armour thermal layer under my biking short and called it a day.
It worked great.
(Note to self: Next time, invest on a pair of leg warmers as well!)
My husband, who is the Best Husband in the World(TM), and who was not riding, came with us and took our picture before we departed for our adventure.
The ride proved to be beautiful, full of rolling hills, grass, farms and the occasional cow. (Mel says that she saw some other critters, but all I remember were the cows.)
On the other hand, this was by far the spikier ride I had faced in my short biking career, and I must admit that I had to push my bike on a couple of hills. However, I was not alone on this one and I didn’t feel too bad.
So other than a brief attack of asthma (Cat), a dislodged chain (Mel), and a couple of pushing bikes on hills (everyone), we finished our ride in less than 3 hours. I am so proud of us!
Which goes to prove that cross-training can be a very good thing.
Now we are discussing where our next ride will be.
Now I am shopping for new pedals for my bike, but that’s a story for another time.