Saturday, August 28, 2010

Venus de Miles Ride Tomorrow

Tomorrow we I ride.  Unfortunately, Cara, who was supposed to join me on the Venus de Miles trek on Sunday, was involved in an unfortunate, and from the reports I've received, quite intense head-on car crash on Thursday, and won't be able to join me due to some severe injuries. Thankfully, she is alive and okay, but this means I am at it alone. {sigh} Not really what I had hoped for, but I suppose things happen for a reason. This is not to say that I think Cara was "supposed" to be injured, but rather that perhaps I was supposed to complete this ride alone... or perhaps I'm just telling myself this so I don't give up and decide not to ride at all. Bicycling is always great thinking time, and since the organizers aren't permitting headphones of any sort on the ride, that means I'll have lots of time to wonder 1) why I'm even doing the ride (I'm still questioning my mental sanity on this issue, as I'm really not physically prepared for the distance), and 2) perhaps figure some personal things out while I pedal along with thousands of other women.

After some discussion, Cara and I were going to take her Electra Cruiser and my Pashley Princess on the ride, dress like girls in skirts/dresses, and just enjoy the ride at a slow pace. Now that I'm doing this alone, I think the Hillborne will be the steed of choice, and I'll just spandex myself out to join the crowd. Fortunately, I don't own much spandex, so it will really more likely consist of my yoga workout pants and some sort of tank top. I had to kind of laugh at the "musts" list I received from the organizers of this ride because, quite honestly, I found it semi-humorous. Here's what the list consists of:

Padded bike shorts
Non-cotton clothing
Appropriate riding apparel: Venus is a rain or shine event!
Helmet
Bike Shoes
Bike Gloves
Bike
Sunscreen
Water bottles or a Camelbak
ID – You know that beer or cocktail will taste great after you ride!
Important Medical Information
Cash or checks

While I understand that water (along with some other items on the list) is a necessity for a long ride, I can't help but laugh at the idea that they think padded bike shorts are a necessity for a ride. Lots of people do long, trekking rides and don't wear padded shorts. I realize this is likely only funny to me, but it's just the image that people want to put out there that, I think, so often turns people off to riding a bicycle.

Since the Hillborne will be the ride for tomorrow, today he got new bar tape (I feel as though the bar tape companies are scoring on me, as I've gone through about 4 rolls in the last few weeks because of various issues), we Sam adjusted the stem a bit higher so I'm not quite as leaned over, we Sam also installed a new Nitto stem in replace of the old one, because I was a bit too stretched out and uncomfortable, and we Sam adjusted the saddle a bit so that hopefully I'm able to make it the entire distance without severe pain. Since I haven't been on a longer ride since installing the new stem, it will be interesting to see how it changes the the feel of things, and whether or not I'm able to walk at the end of all of this.  The plan is to take it easy for the most part, but we'll see how that goes.

Today, we also decided to drive the ride so that I'd be able to see how far it is and have a mental idea of where I'm headed. I'm almost sorry that we did so because it was exhausting just driving the route! I'm hoping that I get a good nights' rest tonight and I'll be ready to go in the A.M. bright and early. For a "leisurely" ride, as the group has termed it, there are an awful lot of hills to climb with some really long, boring stretches of road as well.

Donations to Greenhouse Scholars can still be made here, and I'm looking forward to reporting back on how it all goes tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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