Time to ride
It’s been 4 months since I had my surgery and I decided that yesterday was the day. The day I head outside on my bike. It was nearly 70 degree, how could I not go out on my bike? I pumped up the tires, strapped on the heart rate monitor and kit and headed out the door.
I think it was May when I last rode outside and it felt amazing to be on the road. The first thing I noticed was the front end seemed a little more twitchy than I recalled. I had replaced my 42cm aluminum bars with carbon 40cm ones and it took me a moment to get a feel for them. But geez they felt good. I headed down the hill on 14th St. toward the Iwo Jima statue and pressed on to the trail toward the Memorial Bridge. It felt just incredible to be outside, the wind in my face, and my legs moving the pedals. I made my way to Hains Point and settled into a good cadence, around 100 or so, in the little ring and just rode. I got my hear rate up for a little bit, far more than it had been in a while. I cruised around the point and noticed a little tail wind so I went up to the big ring and dropped a couple cogs on the rear and pedaled hard for 30 seconds. The burn in my legs never felt so good. Back into the 39 and and a lighter gear on the back and I cruised back toward Independence. I rested my forearms on the bars and felt a little tightness in my hip flexor so I popped back up on the hoods. It’s going to be a while before I can get too aero on the bike, that’s for sure. I kept the cadence up the whole ride, and paid particular attention to my form and my ability to ride as smooth as possible.
I did one loop around Hains Point and figured I shouldn’t over do it and decided to head home. Back over the bridge and down the trail by Arlington Cemetery, I noticed the bike felt a little sluggish. Sure, my fitness is crap, but it can’t be THAT bad, can it? I looked at the front wheel and noticed I was seeing a heck of a lot of sidewall. My tire was going flat and I had to get back up the hill on 14th street! I dropped to 39/21 and I put a little more effort than I had wanted/expected, but I made it, with no significant discomfort/pain. I spun a little around my neighborhood to cool down and that was it. I have no idea how far I rode, or what my top speed was, but for about 40 minutes I was on my bike. Outside. And it was awesome.