Beef It!

Pedaling along about 18mph, a railroad crossing coming up ahead. Look both ways, nope, no train it is safe to cross. I have crossed plenty of railroad crossings before so this was no biggy. Sam had gone before me and he had done just fine, my front tire went over and then I saw it and I knew right away that I was in trouble. The tracks were deeper than I was used to and not only that, they were set at an extreme angle. Crap! I felt my entire body tensed up, microseconds passed, and I knew that I was going to beef it. My back tire passed over the track but I was already heading to the side of the road. I tried to stop so I put on the brakes which sent my front tire skidding on the bloody gravel! My front tire falling, I tried to unclip and I couldn't, I braced myself for the worst--ending up in the ravine! I felt the crunch of the gravel as I slid down on my side. Finally the bike stopped...and I stopped...and I was trapped under it. Good thing is an all carbon bike thus light as a feather. I tried to move and I couldn't, my right shoulder hurt like bloody hell. Sam by this time had turned around and was trying to assess the damage. Can you get up? Nope, I can't. Please help me up. He helped me and held me for a few seconds. I could feel the tears swelling and on the border of spilling down my cheeks. Then a car stopped to ask if I was okay, I swallowed my tears and said yep. I was okay, and I truly was. I was in one piece, a little bruised but in one piece. I looked down my leg and blood was dripping from a little spot. Darn it! Our friends that were riding with us had turned back by this time and had joined us to make sure that I was okay. A little shaken but okay. As any other cyclist, I picked my bike up and inspected it closely....my beauty had fallen. How stupid could I had been?!?

Adding salt to the wound, as we were ready to pick up and go I saw that my front tire was a little flat...I touched it and sure enough it felt quite flattened. So we turned it around and there it was: a stinking thorn--I took it out and air just popped out of my tire! Darn it!!! At this point, I was sure pissed at my stupidity. I was holding our ride...we had just barely gone 15 miles and we still had 25 miles to go! They all asked if I wanted to go home. Go home, I answered? Nope, no, definitely not! Let's keep going. We are just 15 miles into our ride...we must continue.

15 minutes later we were on our way...new tube in my tire a little bruised but both of us in one piece. As I shifted, my gears were not working. My triple comp had only two of the gears working, all I could think about is the major hill coming up and how I would have to ride without one of my gears. My bike and I were limping away (but I know she has a heart and like my heart we don't give up easily). We just had to work together and put our chins up.

43 miles from start to finish. 28 miles after the mistake. My right side full of bruises. My bike needs a major tune up (thankfully the frame is not scratched anywhere!).

I am grateful that I was kept safe and that my scratches will heal up. I am grateful that Sam was with me to take care of me and my bike. I am grateful that my bike is okay. But most of all, I am SO grateful that my scratches are superficial enough so that I can still run the half marathon next week, I would hate to have had all my training go to waste!.


On the Road Again...

Thetwoofusframed When the sun shines and the kids are out on a sleep-over, what do we do? We take out the bicycles! Saturday morning met us with a beautiful sunny day, a little chilly but not so chilly to deter us from climbing on our bikes and going out for a little ride. A group of eight roadies got together in our cul de sac ready for a morning of adventure. Checking tires, pumping some air into the tubes, checking shoes and filling up water bottles is part of the routine. It is a moment that I really enjoy as we are all together and the excitement of the upcoming ride just passes like electricity from one to another until it converges and it explodes as we roll out for the day's ride.  Iselaandmomber_2

25 miles out and about, despite the nice bright sun, the day was still a bit chilly, especially for our hands and ears. Hubby and I had our "winter" cycling gloves on but we were still freezing! At one point, it got so bad that Momber and I drafted off each other so that we could keep each other warm by finding the "sweet spot" which is usually a little warmer. It worked like a charm! A few minutes behind there drafting off and getting warmer was enough to keep us happy. Heck, we were on our bikes we were definitely happy. All eight of us were stoked just to be out there cycling away...even if we were little icicles!

Our little ride took us out on a route out to Mendon, which happens to be also the very first route that I went on last year on my very first ride Roadiesever. The specific route has a little hill entering the Mendon town and I remember last year I had such a hard time climbing it. I remember clearly, how Jo and Dom made it to the top with hardly any effort and I kept swerving from side to side trying to make it up...huffing and puffing, I finally made it up. However, this year it was a lot different, first of all, the hill is not really a hill, it is more like a little bump on the road, and if you just pedal and stop swerving from side to side it is actually pretty easy to go up it. A year sure makes a huge difference!  Also where before I was about 10-15 minutes behind everyone, this time, I was right behind...and by golly at times I wasn't the last one! I haveIselacycling_2 improved...I am so happy!

Hubby pointed out that I actually keep a really good cadence, my problem stems from not knowing how to  shift and also the fact that my seat was too low, he raised it already and hopefully this will make a difference on the next ride. At times, we were right next to each other and I kept pedaling and pedaling but not moving while he only pedal a couple of times and moved quite farther than I did--not fair!! I must learn how to shift! It is a bit difficult for me due to the triple composition of my bike (Specialized Ruby Comp) and the fact that I have zero knowledge of how a bike works. But, I'll learn as I go on...so much too learn, so little time!

In the afternoon, when the kids came home from their sleep-over at uncles, we planted the garden and then I went out for a little 6 mile run and had yummy Chinese food for dinner..that's what I call a perfect Saturday at the Phelps' corner.


Out of the blue into sunny skies

I am soooo psyched, I had to share. The day started out really crummy...dull, grey, and just wet and nasty, then everything changed, about one hour ago, the sun came out to greet us all. There is very little wind, toasty sun caressing us with its lovely rays....do you know what this means? I am taking my bike out for its first ride of the season! I am so thrilled! I wish I could go right now but I need hubby home to watch the monkeys.....soooooo tickled pink I am! Is it 6:30pm yet?

Woohooo! I am back from my ride! It was a beautiful short little ride. It felt so great! There was this little hill and I just went up it and gave it all I had....it was fantastic! For a moment there I felt like Queen of the world!

I am in such better shape than last year, I am by no means super fast nor fast but I am a little faster than last year and I wasn't winded (like last year). It felt really, really great to be doing so much better than last year. My spinning class definitely has paid off. At one point, on the flat I was pedaling and I was going 21mph....never before have I been able to do that on a flat...maximum 15 but never 21! Of course, the trick is keeping it up for long periods of time.

Must do's before next ride:

1. Get a little mirror for my helmet. I have a hard time looking back so a mirror will help. I will look dorky but it is better dorky than road kill!

2. Put my biking shoes together (meaning, Sam puts the clips on my shoes). My sneakers kept slipping off and it was cumbersome getting back on track after slippage.

It was a superb, awesome, fantastico, fabuloso ride!