On April 10th, 2010 I’m riding in a 65 mile bike marathon that will take more than six hours to complete. Am I crazy? Or, am I crazy? At this point I can’t really wrap my head around this notion of being on my bike for six hours. So for now I just focus on each Saturday training ride as they come and I’m sure eventually this reality will sink in. But after this past weekend’s 35.6 mile ride my “ass” is begging me to quit. Oh Lord, how did I get myself into this predicament?
Rewind to three months ago…
One of the things I’ve noticed from day one of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is that bike riding is engrained deep into the culture. We’ve got the hippie bike riders trying to save the planet from unnecessary car exhaust and we’ve got the avid cyclists who wear the skin tight biking clothes and think they own the road in their riding packs. Up until a few months ago, the former REALLY annoyed me.
So it’s pretty ironic that when a woman from work sent a mass email asking who would be interested in riding in the Cinderella Classic 65 mile bike marathon that I would raise my hand. Being a few weeks after my big milestone birthday I figured it would be a great “30th birthday challenge”. So I ran straight into my girlfriend’s office and begged her to do the ride with me. I reminded her that her 30th b-day was only five days after mine and she needed a challenge too! Much to my delight, she reluctantly agreed to do the ride.
So our journey into the San Francisco cycling culture began. First let me say that this is an extremely expensive hobby. I say “hobby” because I don’t think I’ll ever become a true “cyclist”. I’m a Saturday rider. But it seems that just about every Friday I’m plunking down a hundred bucks at REI on some new gadget for my bike or article of clothing.
Well this past Friday my big purchase was a new – cushier – bike seat. I never knew how taxing bike riding is on your booty! But each week as our training mileage increases from 17 to 25 to 27 my poor little bum has been feeling the burn. But nothing could prepare me for 35 miles.
A beautiful – butt challenging ride
We had the most beautiful ride through the Livermore vineyards with the green rolling hills of the California countryside as our panoramic view. The blue sky 63 degree day and smell of fresh cut grass made for a spectacular ride. But by mile 25 I was gritting my teeth in pure agony! OH MAMA, my ass was grass. By the time we finally completed the ride and were packing our bikes up in our cars three hours later, one of my new riding friends made the comment; “Up until this point I’ve been fine with these rides, but this is the first time I’ve really been like, GET ME THE FUCK OFF THIS BIKE”. I laughed outloud because this was my nonstop chant in my final 7 miles! And to think I’ve got 30 more miles to ride to the actual finish line in April. Unnngh!!!
Two days later I’m still waddling. I have to shift a lot in my chair in order to get comfortable. Now this is freaking me out a bit because I have a 37 mile ride in just five more days. The pain may subside by then, but the memory is burned into my brain! So I ask that you please pray for me that I can get through this insanely crazy 30th birthday challenge schmallenge!
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- How my 65 mile bike marathon changed my perspective