Rainy weekends makes it hard to get out and train. For one thing, I’m a bit of a baby and I don’t want to ride in the rain if I don’t have to. I’m sure the time will come, probably in the nearer future that I will have to suck it up, but until that time...
So as to not lose a training day, we decided to check out Jalepeño Cycling in Bloomfield. I’ve never taken an indoor cycling class so I didn’t know what to expect. Kate and Andrew the joint owners and a dynamic couple welcomed us enthusiastically at 945 am. Kate and Andrew fitted our bikes on their fancy trainers.
Kate had already created and loaded a course into her system, and into a giant TV which was in front of the bikes. Six of us climbed onto our bikes and began warming up. Kate designed a course based on real life local streets and terrain and it was a doozy. A grueling hour and a half later, I had climbed several steep and low grade hills, practiced sprinting and learned some techniques to help from getting fatigued on longer rides. I’ll admit, before class I worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish the hour and a half without a break. But I succeeded! I made it through the whole time, not the whole course. And then I carb-loaded a delicious careibean french toast and chicken apple sausage brunch.
May 9th is my sober anniversary, this year I am celebrating 14 years. This also happens to be my partner's born day. She asked me to take the day off with her, and being I still have "personal" days left at work, I obliged. (Personal days cannot roll over to the following year and can be used for anything).
At first we planned to head to the Jersey Shore for the day with the puppy. However, as time is running out for us to train for our Cali trip, we decided that a training day would be good for us. I let C do the planning, because she loves doing that sort of stuff. I knew she wanted to go to Harriman State Park. I have not been there in some time, and when I visited, it was only for hiking, never biking. We knew we were ready to bump up our milage, to the 30ish mile mark. C planned a route for us.
Wednesday morning, after coffee, we got ourselves out the door and arrived at Harriman ready to ride by 11 am (a little later than we wanted). With the sun shining bright and beating down on us, we began our ride. Not even half a mile into the ride and we approached our first hill. From there, we faced hill after goddamn grueling hill. On one hill, the climb lasted one bloody mile: my legs burned, my mind burned and I barely kept plugging along to the top.
We picnicked around the lake for lunch and a bit of respite. C hung her hammock and we chilled in it for too short a time. Back on the bikes for a little downhill action, only to head back uphill for some grueling climbs. This is seriously good training for Cali, but I am woefully unprepared for that right now. We will defiantly have to visit this trail again- but dear lawd, not for a few weeks, please!
Well, thank tha goddesses for progress not perfection. I am slow af on the bike right now. We've been out on our new bikes, and I am loving the feel of my Surly Disc Trucker. Did I mention that I named her Florence? She's named after my late great mama, because she is one mother trucker.
I ventured out on my own, two days in a row. On my second day, I decided to practice loading up my panniers... and I experienced a little dismounting mishap. As I slowed down and unclipped my right foot from my pedal, I pulled up next to the curb on my right side and leaned my right foot out. I started to reach the curb- then BLAM. All of a sudden, my bike lay on top of me, my left foot still clipped in. That really sucked, and dang, I felt like a loser. The handlebar really whacked my left boob and ribcage. Plus, my bruised ego something fierce.
I did manage to ride around 10 miles each day, so I thought that was better than nothing.
Hi, I'm Reverend J, a queer+ sober wanderer, activist, writer and ordained minister.