Monday, March 29, 2010

1st Outdoor Group Bike

As I mentioned last week, this last Saturday was Y-Tri's first outdoor group bike. I've been looking forward to this for a while now, and all I asked was for no rain. Well it didn't rain, so that was definitely a plus. What I didn't expect was the below freezing temperature. After the previous weekend, who would?! It was 32 deg when I left my house at 8:30am to meet my coach (who I've recently discovered lives literally across the street from me). Dressing for that temp is hard enough without taking into account the wind chill you'll be creating racing through Rock Creek (which is also known to usually be around 10 deg cooler then the rest of the city). Awesome!

On Thursday when Larry (head of Y-Tri program) subbed in as our spin coach, we happened to discover we were neighbors. So he offered to bike down to Pierce Mill in Rock Creek Park (meet up location for group ride) together Saturday morning. I have to say it was a good thing he did, because if I didn't know he was waiting outside for me, there is a very slim chance I would have left my very warm comforter. (Look forward to me writing about the benefits of the buddy system!)

Anyway, after getting over the fact that most of my appendages where numb, the ride was pretty great. Just being able to bike outside, within itself was rewarding. Lets be serious here, the spin room is just not that motivating. Since we did a bit of an intro before hand and were just getting used to the process we ended up only doing 16 miles (which was enough in that weather) instead of the 25 we'll be doing from now on. We started at Pierce Mill and went up Beach Dr till we hit the East/West Hwy and back.

Another great thing about taking your bike out for an actual ride rather then just errands around the city, is you can analyze what's going on with you machine. For example, I now know that both of my derailleurs need to be adjusted. Since I never tend to use my 3rd (most resistance/outer) gear in the city, zipping around from store to store, I hadn't realized that my derailleur actually fails to be able to move into that gear at all. This is a quick fix, and since I need to go back to The Bike Rack later this week to get new cranks (metal distance between gears and pedal - supposedly mine are the length appropriate for a 6 ft+ person, placed on my Women's Small bike... weird!) it should be no biggy.

This ride also helped me finalize my decision on getting bike shoes. It became obvious just how much energy and momentum I was losing using my "cage" pedals with runners.

Gear Mandatory for a Outdoor Ride -
Flat Kit: spare tube, CO2 cartridges with a dispenser head, and tire levers in a seat pack
Water/Sports Drink

A Good Idea to Have-
Some form of eye wear to protect from both sun and wind.
Power Bar

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