Tour de Palm Springs – My First Bike Ride! – Part 2 (I Survived My First Cycling Event)

February 12, 2012

Aurora sitting on a bike, smiling, before the Tour de Palm springs 2012Continuing from yesterday:

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 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 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 a dum-dum 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!

cyclists walking their bikes into the finish of the Palm Springs 2012 bike rideA bunch of people got off and pushed their bikes up this one hill. There I was thinking I was so cool. “I’m on a bike ride. I shall ride this bike!” Of course I looked 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’d seen at the start. As I’d pedaled away, I’d 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’d 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. (Note to self, maybe don’t wear pajama pants on the next ride…)

Aurora smiling with her medal at the end of the Tour de Palm Springs race 2012At the end, I got a t-shirt and a medal! There weren’t supposed to be medals for this event, but volunteers had boxes and boxes of medals from 2008.

One meekly asked if I wanted one – as though she was offering me damaged goods. But I was over the moon to get one – it still says the name of the race (though 2008 is on the back).

Sven (whom you’ll totally meet in an upcoming post) 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? Why do boxes and boxes of them still exist? I guess it doesn’t really matter. 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 been convinced – cycling can be fun.

The expo for this ride was incredible (and included an invite to a BBQ!) Can’t wait to tell you about it tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “Tour de Palm Springs – My First Bike Ride! – Part 2 (I Survived My First Cycling Event)”

  1. It was great to ride with you yesterday. Here’s to much success for you in today’s half marathon!

    Take care-Mariellen, rider/massage therapist

    1. Agreed! It was nice to see a familiar face (of all our 10 minutes or so lol) out on the road!

      Great job on your ride, and thanks for bringing your awesome massage booth to the expo!

      I successfully completed the half marathon and got my brick, and I’ll be blogging about it soon. 🙂

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