If you had asked me two years ago how I felt about riding my bike, I probably would have rolled my eyes and told you that it was ok. Now fast forward and throw in a lot of early mornings on the bike trainer and I can now say that I LOVE riding my bike. Love it. I mean love people…. did you hear me? I should clarify that this does not mean that I’ve become lightning fast or anything of the sort for that matter, but it does mean that I’m a happy camper riding on two wheels.
So, how do you learn to fall in love with your bike you ask? Good Question!
1) Ride it. I think that in my first two seasons of triathlon, I really refused to give up the running and take to the biking. I couldn’t quite figure it out and I really loved the freedom of running, so I just didn’t spend enough time on my bike. I mean it was fun on the downhill, etc. but the uphill felt like extreme torture. So, sometimes, I just skipped it. Now that I’m spending a minimum of 8-10 hours a week on it, I feel differently. So, as a friend has told me for the last two seasons, it’s important to spend the time in the saddle. Ok ok, I’m finally listening, and you’re right….
2) Make sure you get the right fit for you. This is a biggie. Go to a bike shop, get the right fit. It makes all the difference in the world. I mean think about it, especially in long course triathlon, you are spending a substantial amount of time on your bike so you need to be comfortable there. (Can I please point out that for those of us mere mortals that are completing and Ironman, we are putting in close to a full work day, 7-8 hours, sitting on a bike. Yowza.)
3) Ladies – Get the right gear! It’s a long time to be sitting on a bike seat. Trust me, invest in the things that you need to make your saddle comfortable. These include chamois cream, the right saddle and a good pair of bike shorts. I keep wanting to be the person that doesn’t need to wear bike shorts on the bike, but I am telling you, my bike ride is so much more comfortable when I wear bike shorts rather than tri shorts.
4) Recruit Your Favorite Friends to Ride With You – Having supportive friends who can keep you chatting, singing and laughing is a good move. It really makes the time go by. Unfortunately in Sunday’s ride, I lost all of my data, but I know we were on our bikes for a long time …. aka 80 miles. Having a great training partner with me helped me to pass the time. (No joke, we really did sing…. cuz we’re cool like that.) Recruit riding pals and you’re good!
5) And lastly, I’d say Sign Up For Some Supported Rides – After being out there for Tour de Cure on Sunday, I’m frantically searching for more local-ish century rides. I really think that this may be the way to go in order to get in the 100 milers. And remember that time in the saddle is important so these seem to go hand in hand. (PS… Anyone know of any great century rides in the upstate NY area between now and the end of August? I’m looking for a few!)
Anyway, these are the things that are working for me and Foxy as of late. So that leaves me curious…. how did you all learn to love your bike? Any new tips to share?