So far, the month of May has been all about focusing on keeping my endurance and adding some intensity to my rides.
I have started to ride my mountain bike from the house to one of our local trails- Graham Hills. I usually would drive there but it is only 6 miles each way. It helps me warm up before I get to the trails and then I am able to give it more gas in the woods and spin my legs out on the way home. G and I use to do this sometimes during the winter or early spring but driving there always seemed quicker. It only saves 15 minutes and then I still have to get ‘ready’ to ride when I get to the parking lot. So far, these rides from the house have been anywhere between 21-25 miles combined road and dirt. I need to increase this but of course it is hard to find that extra time. This "small ride" takes at least a couple hours as it is.
The best way to increase my mileage and time in the saddle is to get on the road bike as it is easier on the body compared to all the jarring with mountain bike. It was part of the plan after SSAP to make sure I get back on the road on a more regular basis- At least 2 times a week.
I was in a Pilates workshop the whole weekend prior so there was not much riding for me. I was anxious to enjoy the beautiful weather outside.
Ideally we would have ridden mountain bikes on Saturday and road bikes on Sunday but this weekend, we switched it around because a friend wanted to ride mountain bikes with us on Sunday. We had ridden to Graham Friday evening so the road sounded good to me.
Saturday morning we left out of the house and decided to head north. We took a few back roads over to Pleasantville and jumped on the North County Trailway. The NCT is a great place to keep the legs spinning but I had also wanted to recalculate some mileage from the 117 parking lot in Pleasantville up to our friend’s bike shop – Yorktown Cycles.
I have been helping to plan the first bike ride fundraiser for Body Wise Connection and this is the route I have chosen. This is the organization that got me started with Pilates and helping plan this fundraiser is part of my way to “give back”. Of course I am leading this ride so I need to do the ride a few times before the day of the event which is June 2, 2012.
We took a quick pit-stop at the bike shop to say hi and get a few extra snacks for the ride. I also discussed with Tom about replacing my helmet after my recent crash in which I hurt my hand. Once you have crashed your helmet it is best to replace it. The helmet becomes compromised and may not work to its full potential the next time.
|Enjoying the amazing weather.|
We left the shop and pedaled further north. We decided to turn around and head towards home so we could detour off the NCT to hit some hills in Briarcliff. Heading south, we were cruising along and I got a flat in my rear tire. It appeared that my rear tire had a pretty good size tear in it. G fixed it with a GU wrapper and said “no hills on this tire- we should get home while we can”. It was okay; we were having a great ride and still wanted to save some gas in the tank for our mountain bike ride the next day. By the time we would finish the ride it was still going to be just shy of 50 miles.
|That is a nice size tear|
We were pedaling home at a very mellow pace as I was trying to be gentle with my rear tire. We must have been going only about 14-15 miles an hour and we were almost to the 117 parking lot area. I stood up off my saddle to stretch my legs out for a second and just then, I hit a bump. The NCT is known for its random holes and bumps and I thought I knew where all of them were. This one took my balance and I lost complete control of my front end. I tried to recover quickly but because I had been standing, my weight was shifted forward more than usual- I could not correct it. I was going down. I have never crashed on my road bike (not counting as a kid crashing on my ten speed) but knew it was going to be ugly. I tried to force my body to the far right where there was hope of hitting the grass. My right hip didn’t quite make it to the grass but thankfully my shoulder and head did. This was by far the scariest crash I have ever had. It is so different to dump it on your road bike than the mountain bike. I am actually very lucky that it was not any worse. I am pretty banged up with some nasty road rash on my right side and my forehead.
It is now officially time for a new helmet!
I managed to ride the bike home in the one gear that G found would work-my bike sustained a little damage from the crash and was not working perfectly. It was a painful and slow 6 miles home.
It did not ruin my weekend but it did hurt pretty bad and when I woke up Sunday morning, my neck and back were pretty sore. G put his foot down on our plan to ride at Blue Mountain so we decided to ride from the house to Graham Hills again. I thought I might be a bit crazy to even ride my mountain bike the next day but I was surprised how well I actually rode. I had a lot more snap in my legs than I thought I would and frankly, getting on my road bike did not sound so appealing. I keep seeing that crash over and over in my head. Besides, the road bike needs a little work…
Hoping for a good week ahead and trying to stay upright!