Friday, June 7, 2013

I Think I'm Starting to Like Cycling

After how much I enjoyed riding over the weekend I decided to attend a beginner ride that a local bike shop was hosting on Monday evening. I went to the ride once last summer and had a great time so I was looking forward to returning. When I went on the ride last year there were only two other riders but this time there were fourteen of us in all. I was really nervous when I saw how many people were there but it turned out to be not such a big deal.

For the first few miles of the ride I hung towards the back since I didn't know how fast everyone else would be going and I didn't want to get in anybody's way. After the first few minutes my nerves went away and I was able to relax a bit. One of the things I really liked about this ride is the general lack of cars. After hearing of a few too many bikers being hit by cars down by school I am extra picky about where I will go riding. Although there were a few roads that were a bit more busy, for the most part we were able to take the whole road without thinking twice about it.

Once I got comfortable riding around so many other people I started to work my way up the pack. Since I had absolutely no idea where in York County we even were I didn't want to be too close to the front but I also didn't want to go slower I had to. What surprised me the most was how well I did on the very few hills. I have always thought of myself as the worlds worst hill climber but I am starting to think that maybe I just don't know how to pace myself on hills. Even though the ride was on the slower side for what I would have liked I am hoping to go back at least for the next few weeks since I had such a great time.

Wednesday I also had a great ride. I took my road bike out for the first time by myself and did so much better than I expected. Since the roads near by house are some big roads with some crazy driving I typically drive somewhere else to ride, and on Wednesday I decided to go up to Pinchot. I did a lot of training at Pinchot last summer so it was nice to go back to see what kind of work I need to do.

I ended up doing the course for the Keystone State Sprint Triathlon, which is 2 laps of a 9 mile loop with 2 big (for me) climbs each loop. I tried to take the first lap easy and then go harder on the second lap. While the first lap wasn't entirely easy because of the two climbs, I still felt like I had plenty of energy going into the second lap. Although I struggled a bit on the climbs during the second lap the whole ride went incredibly well.

Not only did I ride faster but I also felt a million times more comfortable on the bike and even hit 33 mph on a downhill (which scared the shit out of me). Last summer I would typically average between 40-45 minutes for one lap while my lap splits on Wednesday were 34:22 and 33:21. This was also the first training ride I've done where the total elevation gain was over 1000. These might not seem that magnificent but for me this ride was a big deal. My confidence on the bike is starting to rise and I am excited to see how much improvement I can make before the end of the summer.


  1. Love cycling! Glad you are enjoying it too!

  2. I just LOVE riding. I wish I know my way around Salisbury better to really go on a good ride though. I do the same 10 miles on repeat haha. Where in York were you?! I think I am more familiar with that area than where I moved ! haha

  3. Looks like fun! I just found that I love riding as well, when I signed up for a bike tour! Unfortunately I rented a bike and don't have one of my own, or a place to put one in our tiny apt! Definitely getting one some day though!