Wednesday, April 14, 2010

31 Clicks


Yeah, that's right. I rode 31km last Saturday!

Boo yaa!

Our Ride to Conquer Cancer team leader Pete has been trying to set up some team rides the last couple of weekends. The first weekend I took a pass, for a couple of reasons. First, I had family in town for Easter Weekend, so it was a little tough to find the time. But second, and more importantly, I still hadn't at that point gotten on a road bike. That was a major hurdle. I am finding that one of my worst enemies in all this (in addition to just about all foods) is my brain. I was convinced that I was probably going to fall off at some point, and was really dreading it. No tread on really thin wheels.

Lets face it. Me and thin anything just don't really go together (except for my wife).

You know, its remarkable how something as simple as riding a bike can just bring on an avalanche of insecurity. Had I gone on that ride for my first ride, I would literally have been the Fat Man on a Little Bicycle, in my painted on bike shorts, a grown 32 year old man barely able to stay up on two wheels. I wasn't ready to a spectacle just yet. One of the few times I would prefer to just blend into the background.

I went out on my own instead, as I mentioned in my last post, got comfortable with it, and found it remarkably easy to get used to. So I was ready for the adventure.

It was cold on Saturday, so we headed out a little late, hoping it would warm up. There five of us - Peter, David, Claire, and Heather - all experienced riders, so I found myself drowning in a sea of spandex. Claire and David went ahead of us, while Pete and Heather stayed back to babysit me. I am not exaggerating that last point. I actually had to stop and tuck my track pants into my socks so they wouldn't get caught in my bike chain.

We headed out onto Lakeshore, and I was a little tense with cars flying by. As I started to really get comfortable, we began to approach Ford Drive, and saw a couple other riders standing around. As it turned out, as they approached a traffic light, David had hit his breaks, and Claire did not hit hers fast enough. They touched wheels, and she took a major tumble. Her breaks and handle bars were twisted something fierce, and she was clearly in a lot of pain - we thought she may have a broken collarbone or dislocated shoulder. We had to call 911.

This is not a picture you want to see 2km into your first big ride.

After Heather got me to stop hyperventilating, and the ambulance took Claire and David to the hospital, we headed out again. We rode east, making our way towards Port Credit. We went into a sub-division, rode down by the lake, up and down hills, all over the place.

And it was great. I had a blast.

By the time we got back to Pete's, I was spent. I was tired, my legs were burning, and my rear was VERY sore. But I can't describe the sense of accomplishment. And having such good friends behind you with encouraging words makes such a difference. My confidence jumped a couple of notches.

I have been able to keep up my training over the last couple of weeks. In addition to spins classes with my KPMG Conquer Cancer teammates, I have been out on a few evening rides - 12km, 15km, and 18km. Each time I go out, I want to push myself a little further, but it appears the sun has become my enemy. By the time I get home and help put Sofia to bed, there is barely an hour of daylight left. This weekend, Aaron and I are hoping to get out for another 30-40km, both days if the weather holds up.

Suddenly, 100km seems a touch more doable. Lets not discuss the second 100km...

I have about a month of fundraising time to go, and still have about $1000 I need to raise. So please, open up your hearts and wallets if you haven't already, and donate using the link above to support the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation!


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