April, 2013. After taking part in the local Tour de Cure, I bought my road bike. I had chosen it several weeks earlier, but decided to wait until after Tour de Cure to buy it. Something told me that there wasn't enough time to adjust to it before the big day.
That was a wise move, as it turned out. Riding a road bike versus a hybrid was a major change. In fact, a road bike is as different from a hybrid as a hybrid is from a trike! My road bike weighs half of what my hybrid does, and at first I found it quite twitchy. In fact, it was rather scary.
As with the transition from trike to hybrid, I lost strength and stamina because I had to slow down so much while I got used to the different posture and handling. I noticed right away that, with a road bike, I felt like I was ON TOP of the bike. Which, in fact, I am. With the hybrid, it felt like was INSIDE of the frame. I believe that the more erect position of riding the hybrid explains that one.
I had visited two different bike shops, and test-ridden four or five road bikes of different makes. I settled on a Scott. I had no fancy criteria for my choice. The Scott simply seemed to be the most comfortable. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that I happened to manage the Scott the best, by sheer chance. Shopping for a road bike when you have no experience riding one makes it hard to be very discerning.
Then it was back to the same exercises that I employed while adjusting to the hybrid when it was new: getting the hang of starting up and stopping, and of how to keep control of the bike when I tried to ride faster, etc. And learning how to manage a water bottle that was on the down-tube rather than the handlebars. Gunga Din wasn't around to hand me my water (see blog, 04/01/16), and at first I had to stop every time I needed a drink, which was quite an annoyance.
AND FINALLY -- A ROAD BIKE CENTURY!
Naturally it wasn’t long before I started hankering to do a century on the road bike. On July 19, 2013, I did. Pedaling time was 7:56:38! I averaged 12.5 mph, which was good for me at the time. By this time I wasn't scribbling notes every time I made a halt, so I'm short of comments on this one.
I began at 5 am. Not surprisingly the day got very hot, and my big ride ended rather miserably because I ran completely out of water about 1.5 miles before I reached the 100-mile mark. Then I had about two miles to ride to get home. I arrived there dehydrated, and for at least an hour felt too exhausted and sick to even move. That was NOT fun, and ruined any sense of triumph.
For whatever reason, eating was a problem on this ride. Nothing tasted good; what I did eat tended to stick in my throat; and it's possible that I ate too little as a result. Between the heat and less caffeine than usual (admittedly I'm a Diet Coke fiend), I got rather headachy. I was glad that it didn't rain, but I would have welcomed some overcast to moderate the temperature.
I guess I was in too much of a hurry to do a century on the road bike! Advice to self: next time don't ride a century in July, unless I've gotten fast enough to start at 5 am and be finished by noon. And if it's a supported century, and at least part of the route is in the shade! Unsupported centuries are quite a tough business because of having to carry so much, including a lock to use at the necessary stops. Either that, or plan my route so that I can make pit stops at home -- which feels like cheating.
All texts on this site are copyright of C. Levert, New Orleans, LA 2016, unless otherwise indicated.
The content of this web site consists of my personal experience, opinions, and so on. I am not a medical professional, nor a dietician, nor a sports expert. If you need advice regarding health, nutrition, coaching and so on, please consult the appropriate professional. For help choosing bikes, helmets, and so on, head for your LBS (Local Bike Shop)!
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