Saturday, August 11, 2007

Patriot Half Ironman Bike Testride on My New Bike

Today a bunch of the TRIgirls rode about 58 miles on the Patriot Half Ironman bike course. We were testing out the ride, getting a feel for things. One of the biggest things I regretted about Eagleman was that it was so far away, we never really go to do a practice ride of the course. I'm never truly able to enjoy a bike ride until I've ridden the course at least once. The first time I ride a bike course I'm incredibly distracted by the scenery, the hills and the road conditions. I'm always wondering what obstacle is next.

Anyway, I knew today would be a challenging ride. I was riding my new bike for the first time. I wasn't too excited about my first ride being a half iron distance, but I also didn't have much of a choice. The day I bought the bike, and each day since, there have been heat advisories every day...alternating with thunderstorms. So aside from taking it around the block during the 115 degree heat index, I hadn't ridden the bike much at all. New gears, new saddle, new fram, new water bottle cages, new pedal, new aerobars. So many new things to get used to!
The Patriot bike course was beautiful. It was farmland, water and beautiful rolling hills. The bike road well...with a few exceptions. The techincal things I'm not going to get into because I want to give the bike shop a chance to fix them, but I will say that I had some trouble getting used to the gearing on the bullhorn shifters.
The first half of the ride I loved. It was so beautiful and I got to draft off of a really nice guy from Final Kick and his friend from Virginia Beach. When I was drafting, it was almost like it wasn't a workout. Good thing I got my workout in -- they always dropped me on the hills!
There was one hill that just came out of nowhere. It was the steepest grade I've ever ridden on. Needless to say, I wasn't prepared in my gearing and I had to hop off the bike for a portion of the hill because I came to a dead stand still and I was pretty sure If I didn't unclip I was just going to fall over. I was still feeling pretty good after walking up the steepest part of the hill, but getting a flat sort of spoiled things for me. I got half way thru changing the tire, when the sag crew came up and offered to finish. (I let them, which was good, because my new wheels have need tubes with longer stems than I was carying.) Things certainly could have been worse! And Tgirl Carmen was so sweet to wait with me until I could get back on the road.
The practice ride was run by the Colonial Area Triclub. The were well organized but above all NICE! I certainly got my $10 worth. There were lots of super nice people we met and got to see today.
I'll post some photos tomorrow I hope.


Cyndi said...

It was such a great day today and you looked great on your new ride!! Thanks for the Pizza/Pie tip, too! Derek is loving the yummy treat I brought home!!


TriGirl 40 said...

What a great ride - and LOVE your new bike!

BTW - You've been tagged, check out the details on my blog.