'Tis almost time again to participate in the annual Venus de Miles ride which starts out locally in Prospect and continues on either a 33, 51, 67 or 100 mile ride through the hills or mountain area (depending on the ride one chooses). For anyone unfamiliar, it is an all-women ride that raises money for Greenhouse Scholars, and while I do think it's a worthy cause, I keep putting off registration for one reason or another. Lack of money, faltering in regard to whether or not I actually want to do the ride again, knowing that classes will have just started up when the ride takes place and wondering whether or not I want to have another reason to be stressed out are just a few of the excuses I keep using to put registration off.
**Image from GreenhouseScholars.org
In addition to the more self-induced (or manufactured), not really legitimate reasons indicated above, I'm struggling with my ability to ride the Hillborne. After more than a year of having and utilizing him, I seem to still struggle with any length of ride on him. I used to just think it was just longer distance, but I've had several instances of aching hand/wrist/lower arm muscles even on short rides. When Sam and I returned from a round trip, 3-mile ride to the market the other day, my hands were completely numb, and later in the day started aching even more. On such a very short ride, there shouldn't be this sort of pain. As an added "bonus", after I ride I seem to struggle with walking due to hip pain (This is a new one for me - and I'm certainly not old enough to be falling apart yet, am I? Wait. Don't answer that.).
I get myself quite worked up about the whole deal because while I know I can physically complete the distance, I don't want to struggle with deep muscle pain the entire length of the ride, and then for hours afterward either. I know that my hand and wrist issues are something unrelated to the bicycle and that I'll have to deal with those regardless, but I never have pain when I ride my upright/city bicycles, so we're looking for a solution to make this ride just as comfortable. While I did ride the Hillborne during last years' Venus de Miles, I don't want to experience the same issues that took place during that ride and that continue today as well.
The start of the Venus de Miles ride 2010
In the mean time, I have a decision to make about the Venus ride. Do I sign up and just not ride if a solution isn't reached in the next 5 weeks or so? I have a friend who is supposed to also ride, but I don't want to disappoint her and not show up at the last minute. Do I attempt to ride the Public Bike on the longer ride (Boy, I got looks riding a steel frame, touring bike last year, can you imagine the commentary I'd receive going on a loop frame, upright, steel bike - Though I must admit, part of me would enjoy proving that I could do the ride even on that bike)? Do I just decide that the ride isn't going to be a possibility this year, and wait until the Hillborne issues are resolved to try again in 2012?
While I could wait to register for the ride until the last minute, the fees go up incrementally the longer one waits. In addition, I'd like to have time to participate in the fundraiser if I'm going to ride (since the whole point is to get money for Greenhouse Scholars). I don't have a definite answer yet, but I'm certainly open to input from anyone with reasonable suggestions. Basically, what would you do?