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BC Ride to Conquer Cancer – 2011 Revisited

January 10, 2012

My training started months before the 2011 Ride. My last road bike was a 1970ish, 10-speed Sears special and my body predates that by a couple of decades. The bike was long since relegated to the local dump but my personal machine was/is still more or less turning over. I visited a swept-up bicycle store, blinked when I saw the prices, and bought a green one – on sale. I had my first accident in the store when I slipped off the bike while it was clipped into the trainer. I should have read the tea leaves. But with a few adjustments and a blizzard of instructions, off I went.

They say riding a bicycle is one of the things that you never forget. Wrong. The two wheels still go round and the seats are still uncomfortable, but the similarities end there. There is a certain acclimation period required after 20 odd years, to regain that confidence you can remain upright on these two threads that they call wheels, to navigate through greatly increased and aggressive traffic, and to figure out 18 or more gears while proceeding at a pace you would have thought impossible. To top it off, you might not ride like Lance Armstrong but you have to at least look the part.

The worst, however, is the bike clips which anchor your feet to the pedals. There is a certain distraction, okay panic, when you are approaching a stop sign and you realize either your feet won’t come loose or you have forgotten to pull them out. Where are those yellow stickees when you need them? Let me just say, the pavement and I were nose to nose a few times before I finally got the hang of the clips.

Then there was the whole getting-in-shape bit. I started with rides around White Rock, choosing my route carefully to avoid hills until my son and teammate, said “Mom! Ya gotta get on them! So I did, reluctantly, coaxing my rusty body up bigger and bigger hills. Just to annoy me, my son, the same one who advised me to ride hills, rode his bike just once before the big day. Of course, his level of fitness started much higher than mine and so I wouldn’t recommend his approach to others.

Fundraising was the next great challenge. I set my goal high. To be continued Wednesday.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 10, 2012 9:57 pm

    And little did you know that ahead of you was a 225 km ride over the worst two days of June weather ever!

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