I decided that if I was going to ride with them I needed to "do" something to be able to ride with them. I had tried spin about a year ago and, though I didn't love it, I hung in there and was doing better...until...some of the ladies began talking about me IN FRONT OF ME as if I wasn't even there and...well, let's just say I haven't been back and probably won't go back. Just not my "thang". The next best thing was to improve my ride. Kent knew my frustration of lagging behind all the time and he told me to go get a "good" bike. A couple of things with that: the money [I mean, there's a huge difference between $150 bike and a low end good bike at $900. That's quite a jump. So we went to a bike store and began asking questions; they even let me try one out riding it down the road a piece. Can I say "Wow"!! What a difference this good one made! I had no idea there was such a difference. This convinced me that if I wanted to continue to ride more than 5 miles I'd have to move up to a better ride. All of my friends rode such good ones, most being quite expensive; I knew I couldn't compete with that but I could enjoy riding more with a good one. Before I left Infinity, I had purchased a new bike. My new Trek Lexa would be in in about a week. When I left, I had such a pit in my stomach wondering just what in the world did I do. I had never spent money like this. All week long, I wondered if I had made a big, costly mistake. A few days later, they called and said my bike was in. I could hardly wait to see my new "baby". Let's finish this part by saying that I have never loved biking like I do now. Though I'm still not fast...yet...this bike rides like butter. I love every time I get on her. Since then, I've gotten biking gloves [which are great], a good bike pump, tri-shorts, biking shirt and cage pedals. I already had a helmet. I'm using my Garmin running watch since it tracks biking, too. I know.......everyone has a bike computer...but why buy something when you have something else that works fine. So, I'm keeping this for now. Let's say I'm "looking" the part, ha!
On October 1st, I rode the Southern Magnolia 25 mile bike ride. There were 6 distances you could choose from. About a month ago, they had a practice ride and I elected to do it to see what I was in for. It was on small country roads. Having some trouble with my new bike shorts, I turned around before it was time and finished with 22 miles. Very glad that I did. I was whipped! I know I'm still new at this but biking is tough until you build up your ability. Let's say...I'm still not there! My local friends didn't want to travel that far but friends from my last home area were going and I wanted to see them. They are much more advanced than me...MUCH more. But they love the longer distances. Like runners, there are different kinds. Some love 5k's while others love half marathons and yet others love marathons and further distances. I think "my" distance is going to be 25 with little to no hills, ha!
I was nervous at least two days before the official ride itself. I just feel such a rookie in this area; and I knew that I would probably be alone for most, if not all, of the ride. The thing that kept me going was to remember it was a RIDE, not a race, and that I was going to be with friends I hadn't seen in quite a while. We got there a little early and since I was doing a shorter ride, mine started an hour after the century/ultra bikers left out. We stopped where they would round the corner hoping to see someone I knew. It wasn't long before I heard my name yelled out and it was Marsha [from Orange Beach]. It was so good to see her.
After they all passed by, we headed to the parking lot to start unloading. As we drove up, we saw our good friend, Frank [from Jones County]. Kent took a pic of us and Frank took one of us.
And, off we go...
Frank and I started out together. He had signed up for the 40 miler but started having back trouble and had to step back to a shorter distance. He's such a super biker, he ended up going on. One day I'll be like him!
For someone who basically rides on flat ground, this was tough for me. Once I was alone, I noticed someone else struggling with the hills. It wasn't long before we were talking and sharing that we both are fairly new at this. We are both learning our gears...I hope I can pick up on this because I don't know anyone else that has this issue but me. But I won't quit now. After riding a while, we decided to ride the rest of the way together. At least, we wouldn't be alone. His name was Peter [from Moss Point] and is a recent widower of three months. It's been tough and I'm glad I had an ear for him. This 25 miler ended up at 25.85! All I can say is I love the calories burned...yay!
Kent was waiting for me in the last turn with his handy camera and took some after race photos.
At the Finish Line with my long sleeve finisher's shirt.
My swag included several things. My shirt is on the bottom of this stuff. There was a commemorative towel, Southern Magnolia bike water bottle, Chamois Butt'r, sleeves and a Yowie [never heard of this before]; as well as a couple of Koozies and plastic cup. Thought it was a cool bag for a newbie.
Here's my bib and the bag that held my goodies.
A pic of Peter and me.
Got one of Marsha coming in and a few other photos I wanted to share.
My friend, Nancy [from Gulfport]. She came away with a lot of unexpected goodies for recent accomplishments.
Krista, Melody & Deleica [all from Jones County]. This was Krista's first metric century!
Pete [from Mobile]. Surprised to see him.
Also, good to see Ed [from Gulfport]. I rarely see him any more.
And, finally a pic with Marsha.
This event was filled with so many good memories! I loved every minute of getting with friends and visiting. I will never forget this great time. Until next time,
Run 4 It