I have always loved riding my bike. Before Jeremy and I were married, I was roommates with an amazing girl. Her athletic ability always astounded me, she could run, swim and bike without a thought. She actually liked exercising and felt crummy when she didn’t. She doesn’t even know it, but she was such an inspiration to me.
Before I got pregnant with Elliott I was a very consistent member of a cycling class. I went two times a week for about 6 months and loved it. I worked through the saddle soreness and saw amazing results with my body. I never knew how far we cycled though, but it was always for an hour.
In the last almost 2 years, I have gotten pregnant, moved, had a baby, and recovered from having said baby. I tried a cycling class when Elliott was about 11 weeks old, and it about killed me. When Lisa gifted me a great bike, I knew I had no more excuses, it was time to start riding again.
Last weekend I got the bike tuned up, new tires and brake pads, new pedals and a helmet for me – I was ready. The bike shop where I went has a weekly ride and it is for all abilities. Last night I saddled up and went to the bike shop. I got there and immediately felt SO unprepared and really nervous. Looking around, I knew there was no way I could keep up with these men who are obviously regular cyclists.
We saddled up and took off. The route was 24 miles round trip. I knew I could do it. I did 11 last week while pulling Libby and Elliott, so 24 shouldn’t be too bad, right? (cue maniacal laughter now). I did pretty good for the first mile, mile and a half. I wasn’t too far behind everyone else, but I was at the end of the pack. Then the big hills hit. I know how to switch gears to make it easier on myself, and thanks to all my running, I was doing pretty good with the cardio. I am just not very fast.
Eventually the two guys who stay in the back of the pack rode up to me. They asked if I was ok and I said yeah, just slow. They were so great and stayed with me. Billy and William (no joke) talked to me and encouraged me to make it up the big monster hills. We got to the top and the rest of the group was waiting for me.
I felt bad that they had all waited for me. Here they are, these great cyclists, people who are fast and do this all the time, waiting for this overweight Mother of 5. When I got there, they all cheered for me.
Another seasoned rider came up to me and started talking to me. He was making sure I was using all my gears and giving me tips. He promised he would ride back with me on the way home. We took off and he took off. I just figured he decided he didn’t want to go that slow. About a mile or two later he was stopped on the road waiting for me. He told me he had to power up those big hills, but now that those were done he wanted to ride with me. His name is Bill. So yes, now I am riding with Bill, Billy and William. Those three men stayed with me, encouraged me and helped me through my 26 mile ride. They made sure I was drinking, shifting gears and wasn’t getting too tired.
I am sure they have no idea what their support meant to me, but it made it so I will go back next week. I will keep riding and keep getting stronger.
Next week though, I am going to only do half the ride. I need to build up my strength before I can do the 26 miles because I don’t like coming home in the dark