Continuing from yesterday’s post: One thing that’s completely embarrassing about my bike ride is that I forgot to wear a helmet! It somehow didn’t occur to me that bicyclists wear helmets. I could’ve easily asked for one at the bike rental booth, but no, I just took my bike and wandered off. It wasn’t until the start horn was blown and we were all peddling away that I looked up and noticed someone’s helmet. Oh, fudge! At that point it was too late to turn around (maybe not for a better, more responsible person who would’ve gone to get a helmet and started late).
I felt so awful for being such a bad influence on anyone watching the race or reading the blog (not that anyone would follow my lead on that – more likely they would just talk about how much of an idiot I was (especially since I didn’t even know how to ride a bike!)). I felt so bad about it that after the race I went and got a helmet and came back in through the finish line for a couple of pictures with appropriate headgear.
Back to the actual race, it was definitely interesting going downhill and uphill. It felt a lot different from just adjusting the resistance in spin class. Downhill felt like fun, (somewhat) controlled falling, and uphill was freaking hard! A bunch of people got off and pushed their bikes up this one hill, and there I was thinking I was so cool. “I’m on a bike ride; I shall ride this bike!” Of course I looked the silliest, going no faster (read: slower) than people walking their bikes up. But hey, I made it to the top eventually!
When we were coming back toward the finish(!), I saw a cop whom I had seen at the start; as I had pedaled away, I had yelled “I don’t know how to ride a bike!” When I came back, she happily greeted me with “you made it?!” I yelled back “I’m doing it!”
When all the cyclists got to the finish line, so many people were coming in that we didn’t get to ride through. Everyone got off their bikes and we just walked the bikes through, which I sort of thought was funny, especially since cameras were snapping our big finish.
I couldn’t believe I had gotten back so quickly. I literally have no concept of how long it took me (no timing chips and I didn’t look at any clocks). An hour-long ride? Half an hour? Whatever it was, it went by quickly.
By the way, yes, I wore pajama pants. Yes, they got stuck in those gear things or whatever it is that a bicycle has. They got a little hole in them. I didn’t get stuck enough to get hurt or lose control of the bike (though it was a little jarring). (Note to self, maybe don’t wear pajama pants on the next ride…)
At the end, I got a t-shirt and a medal! There weren’t supposed to be medals for this event (there was the brick award the next day which was good enough for me), but volunteers had boxes and boxes of medals from 2008. One meekly asked if I wanted one, like she was offering me damaged goods, but I was over the moon to get one. I mean, it still says the name of the race. (2008 is on the back.)
Sven (who you will totally meet very soon in an upcoming post about this weekend) pointed out that it was hilarious that they had a ton of medals left over from 2008 – not from last year or even 2010, nope, just 2008. Great point. Where did these medals come from? And why do boxes and boxes of them still exist? I guess it doesn’t really matter ’cause the point is, I have a bike riding medal! Bam!
I used to think bicycling seemed kind of boring. I mean, why bike when you can run, right? But now that I’ve done a bike event, I’ll admit it’s actually way more fun than I ever thought it would be. You get to be in control of this crazy moving contraption and feel the wind rush past you. It can be like your own tiny roller coaster, depending on the hills. I’ve officially been convinced cycling can be fun.
The expo for this ride was incredible (and included an invite to a BBQ!) I can’t wait to tell you all about it tomorrow!