Dutchess County Sheriff, New York State Trooper…

…Who else will I meet while cycling?

It was too good to be true to go for a ride yesterday. The weather was too nice, and I was actually up during the day to experience sunlight and given the chance to go for a bike ride. I was pumped after not drowning in Bard’s pool, and finished having really fresh, hot, liquid caffeinated perfection at a local shop and discussing racing with a friend (I’m way to addicted to this sport)… I had to go for a ride. My bike was staring at me at home, longing for my love and attention.

But I was not meant to go for a bike ride.

And, please, one of the reasons for this blog is to teach little lessons to others–helpful hints–I have learned along the way. And I write about them, but do I actually do what I suggest? No.

Remember my first bike ride in my cycling shoes with my Aussie friend a couple of months ago and the flat tire? It happened again.

It started out all fine and dandy. Teary eyed, and legs a bit tired from the swim, but I’ll be needing to do these types of training days in the future for the race. I decided to head down route 9 and over to Rhinecliff since most of my riding as of late has been heading north. The ride was great, it felt good to be outside again, until I felt something in my rear tire.

Hmm. That’s interesting.

My speed slowed, and I peeked down back at my tire.

You had better not be flat, I thought.

And speed continued to decrease, and I began to feel every rock in the road, every tiny crack in the pavement. The fluidity and feeling that normal tires should have was no longer there.

Oh f……………

I swear, I have the cleanest language, except for when I’m running or biking.

I had a flat.

And no cell phone. Or spare tube. Or saddle bag. Or money/wallet. Or anything other than chapstick and tissues, for that matter.

I stopped and got off and examined my tire, as cars whizzed by–like I could magically fix a tire by looking at it. Unfortunately, I do not have that magical power, although, it would be a great super power to have if I were to have one.

Hmm. What do I do. I could walk back home (it happened about 4 miles outside of Rhinebeck). But I have cleats, and route 9 is busy. Then I thought, ouu, there is a state trooper barracks a couple hundred yards from here. Maybe they can help.

So, I crossed the four lane road and walked my bike to the trooper barracks. I have never been in a police station before, and really did not know what to expect. I rang the door bell, praying someone was there, and a NYS trooper came to the door.

“Hi, I’m really sorry, I just got a flat, and don’t have a tube or my cell with me, can I use your phone?”

“Is that your bike over there?” The trooper asked.

“Yea,”

“Sure, come on in.”

This trooper was so nice. She picked up the phone and handed it to me and asked, “what’s the number?”

And that’s when I realized, I have no phone numbers memorized. They are all in my cell. And, who would come to pick me up? It’s a work day. Crap.

“Umm, wait, I don’t know.” Man, I felt like an idiot.

“All your numbers are in your phone, right?” She asked.

“Yes…Umm, can you call a taxi?”

“Well, where do you need to go?”

“Just to outside the village on 308 where I live.”

“Oh, that’s so close, hold on.” She put the phone back and then went to the back and talked on her radio. A minute later, returned to the front desk.

“Can you wait ten minutes till my Sargent comes back with a truck–I’ll drive you, it makes no sense to get a taxi if you are so close.”

“Ohh that would be awesome, thank you so much. You have no idea. I was going to walk back–”

“Oh route 9 with cleats? No, no, too dangerous.”

I love NYS troopers.

So, I spent ten minutes sitting in the trooper barracks in my cycling gear, wondering how I ended up, again, coming into contact with the Dutchess County Law on a bike ride. I don’t know how these things happen to me. They just do.

A couple minutes later, an officer in a suit came out, “Flat? And you don’t have a spare?”

“Yes sir.”

“It’s happened to me.” Man, why do these officers have to be incredibly good looking, and be cyclists themselves, and I’m always in cycling attire when I meet them?

“Don’t worry, it happens, just hold on for a couple minutes.”

I waited, and looked around. Low and behold, the female officer came out and told me to meet her outside with my bike.

Mr. Attractive in a suit came out and signaled for me to come to the truck.

“How hard is it to take that front wheel off?” He asked.

“Oh, not hard,” Thank goodness I know what I’m doing with bikes. I took off the front wheel and helped put it in the truck.

My new best friends

“There you go, take care.” He went back inside, and I got into the truck with Ms. Really Nice Trooper.

“Thank you so so much, you have no idea what an idiot I feel like now.”

“It’s okay, don’t worry.”

And she drove me to my house!

Voila, my second run-in with law enforcement. I really have no idea how these things happen to me when I ride.

So, fellow readers, please, please learn from my mistake and follow the guidance I am about to share.

1) ALWAYS carry a cell phone if you have one, or, at least some telephone numbers of people you know

2) ALWAYS bring a spare tube and saddle bag with some sort of pump. Lord knows you’ll get a flat when you have nothing with you. And money.

3) State Troopers really are friendly people.

4) If you are going to go for a bike ride with me, just be prepared. You never know what’s going to happen.

Yea, I change tires in my living room...Mother would be proud

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Watch Out, Lance….

…Molly G. is speeding up.

Following my recent post about the three tests I had to do for my trainer/coach Dorothy, I have now completed two of them–the bike 10mile time trial, and the swimming test. And, I’m going to tell you about them. The times, however, are between my coach and myself.  Maybe one day I will share them with others.

1. Time Trial: Pro Cyclists- be warned!

Lance Armstrong on a Time Trial during the TdF a couple years ago

 

The weather, thank goodness, was bearable–it seems like forever since I have ridden outside (have I mentioned I dislike riding on a trainer indoors? Does not even come close to being outside). It was chilly, but I kept bundled up, and did not have to worry about my water getting warm! I started off on route 308, just outside my house to the “fork in the road” (literally, there is a fork in the road in Milan) for my time trial. It was the first time I’ve done a time trial, other than my racing in duathlons, and first time I’ve gone out on a bike ride specifically to go as fast and push as hard as I could for ten miles.

Milan's Fork in the Road

It was painful, not going to lie. If I had aero bars, and a TT bike, and an aerodynamic helmet, I would have been faster (ok I’m done making up excuses for my poor time). It was windy. Bodily fluids were flowing from my nose and eyes with no plans on stopping. If you’ve ever run or biked or hiked or done any physical activity outside with me, you might have noticed that I carry wads of tissues with me. My nose just starts running whenever I do anything, and I am either constantly sniffling or blowing my nose. Really attractive, right? I’m a sad miserable mess in spandex when I ride– nothing attractive about it.

My best friend when doing anything active

At any rate, I did it. And after the ten miles, I decided to continue for a little further, because the weather was so nice. And, as a result of having issues with runny noses, I have mastered the art of removing gloves/blowing my nose/ applying chapstick all while steering clear of cars whilst riding–I’m pretty sure if you pass me while I’m in the midst of it, I look like a clown. And probably do. But those things are small accomplishments in my eyes.

2. Pool

I spent my third morning ever in Bard’s pool yesterday morning, doing test numero deux for my coach: a  2x 100yard fly  sprints. It is amazing how different the muscles used in swimming are. I know in running, you use your legs, as well as arms. And for road cycling, you have to have powerful legs (have you seen the the pro cyclists’s thighs? You can see their rectus femorii, vastus lateralii, and vastus medii–in non-medical terms, thigh muscles, with no problems. Pro cyclists are incredible incredible shape!) But I never realized how much you use your legs in swimming either. And, you use your upper body much more as well. You can sometimes tell if someone is a swimmer by looking at their upper body–they have muscular, broad shoulders. And, now I know why. Swimming is all about upper body, too.

Let me stop here just say, pro athletes in general are in amazing shape. Whether cycler, swimmer, sprinter, triathlete. You can look at them in spandex or swimsuits and say, “Wow, you are in amazing shape. And, attractive. And, can bike, swim, and run. Will you marry me?”

Sorry for that little side note. Back to my swimming. I went to the pool when it just opened for lap time at 0730 and shared a lane with a nice older lady. I warmed up with a couple slow laps (100 yards) and then did sprint numero uno. Holy cow. By my fourth lap of that 100yards (I swim in a 25yard pool), my legs were  burning like they do when I am riding up mountains, and I had to breathe for air with every upstroke. I am not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing when swimming (I know nothing about the sport, except for how to spot a swimmer, as I mentioned above). When I got to the wall, my heart rate was 188 (somewhat on the higher end of my heart rate training zone for my age) and the time was 2:10–other swimmers, please, no laughing. I could have been faster had I known how to do flip turns. This is the third time I’ve been in a pool for over 13 years, let alone doing laps.

I waited three minutes, as told by Dorothy, and then did the second sprint. She was right when she told me I would hate it. It was horrible. But I did the second one and completed it.

After the two sprints, I decided I needed to spend more time in the pool to get somewhat of a workout in, so I just did laps (total of 20x 100yards, so 2000yards) alternating sprinting and using kickboards. Yes, if you are a swimmer, or coach, or know what you are doing, you probably think I am doing my swim workouts all wrong. That’s why I have Dorothy.

At this time, I’m not too fond of swimming in a pool. Yes, you can stay warm when it is cold outside, and do not need to worry about blowing a flat in your tire (that story will come shortly). But, in a pool, I feel I am getting nowhere. On a bike, or on a run, I am going somewhere, getting close to some destination. But in the pool, you are swimming from one side to the other. Back and forth. Ohh boy, this training for the race in June will be fun fun fun.

When was the last crazy post written?

November 2010
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