I think it was about a year ago when I added a new chapter to my ever changing life story: the beginning of training for a triathlon. Which I believe started after getting my first road bike. On and off throughout the winter last year I kept tabs of my training through this blog. And, random posts would creep up here and there. Then, come spring, after countless rides on either my nemesis or bundled up like an insane person outside riding in frigid weather, it was time to add a new addition to the family, and take up mountain biking as cross-training for triathlons, which I would consider the second chapter of the “cycling” portion of my life. And, at the time I figured, you can’t use a road/TT bike with X-Terra racing. I must admit, the mountain biking was considered the second priority after road riding. Even though on the rare occassion I did spend trying to stay on the mountain bike riding over roots, through mud, ramming into trees, I did (and still do) find it to be a breath of fresh air and far more challenging than road biking–again, as mentioned in prior posts. However, mountain biking is still somewhat intimidating to me– I think I need to spend more time doing it (which will come early next week when I’ll be heading back to VT for some quality time with family, and my Contessa Spark, before Kingdom Trails closes for the winter. I am praying the person I’ll be riding with will not break any bones– i.e. clavicles–which he is known to break when mountain biking. Actually, I hope I don’t break anything either.
I am looking forward to the break after what seems non-stop insanity working in a place which I’ve come to realize is starting to wear on me, more physically than mentally (as pointed out by someone the other day who I had not seen in months stating, “Wow, are you okay? You really look like crap.” But, he worded it differently). And, it did dawn on me the other day on my 55 mile ride before heading into work the reason for my feeling like I was running on an empty tank was, infact, because I was literally running on an empty tank. Yes, it took 50 miles for me to realize the reason that the ride seemed like the longest ride of my life was due to the fact I had not slept for more than four hours or eaten anything for a couple of days. Ahh, yes, despite the fact I work as a nurse and know more about the importance of fueling your body for physical activities, I failed to acknowledge how stress has been taking its toll on my own body (which, for an athlete to lose their appetite isn’t the best thing in the world). You would think I would have realized something was up when I did not touch, nor could stomach, two of my favorite types of food: sushi, and a-m-a-z-i-n-g guacamole (on that note, if you live in Dutchess County, you need to check out Santa Fe restaurant in Tivoli. Food there is wicked good, and, even better, accomodating to vegetarians).
So what do I do in order to deal with stress? (Okay, other than baking). If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you probably already know.
Buy another bike and decide it’s time to pick up Cyclocross.
Welcome to the family, my gorgeous, glittering (yes, it glitters in the sun), blue, Giant TCX-W Cyclocross bike.
It was bound to happen eventually. Some people knew it before I did. And, it is kind of funny the bike I’ve been secretly, or not so secretly, admiring for a couple months was ordered when I wasn’t even present in the store. “B., how did you know that is the bike I’ve wanted when you ordered it?” Were the first words out of my mouth when I went to order a new pair of shoes for the bike the other day, with, perhaps the biggest grin on my face.
I admit it, I have a weakness when it comes to really pretty bicycles.
That are blue. And glitter in the sun.
Now, before you think, “Man, this girl is really insane,” I do have a theory behind my bicycle purchasing madness.
Not only is this type of bicycle preferred in cyclocross racing (which, after watching videos on how to swiftly mount/dismount still terrifies me–it might be easier for me simply to fall off), it is something I can use in winter months to ride, when I want to ride outside. Road bike tires have no traction.
Cyclocross tires, on the other hand, are like mountain bike tires and have more traction.
Hence, I’ll have a bike to ride and not need to worry about my road bike getting dirty nor need to worry about slipping and sliding everywhere on the road–even though I already know is bound to happen to me anyway.
AND, the shoes used I can use with my mountain bike.
Now, with work I’ve only been on this bike once which was yesterday (well that, and, it is hard to ride a bike when it has no pedals), and I’m proud to say I think I have the Sram “double-tap” shifting under my belt. Kind of.
The mounting/dismounting is a whole different story.
And to end, with a song that was stuck in my head on my run this morning….