On the Road (bike) Again…

It’s finally SPRING time: the time has changed, the sun is out & triathlon season begins. Happy days! I’m currently training for my first 100 mile bike ride, which takes place in a few weeks. Training for this event has been like most of my training: I’m behind a couple of weeks & should’ve put more mileage in. If there’s anything I’ve learned from racing/riding/running all these events over the past years, though, it’s to not add guilt to the whole training equation. It doesn’t help anything. So instead of a training schedule, I only write the rides I actually RIDE on a list I stuck to the fridge. The list is on a 2″ by 2″ note card, so it looks really full! I highly recommend this type of training log.

I’ve never spent so much time on a road bike, and I’m really loving it just as much as running (which I thought impossible). Road bikes are so light. They actually feel like a part of yourself, and there’s nothing like the thrill of riding down a really long hill or leaning into a turn. On my 50 mile+ rides, I’ve been able to see corners of L.A. surroundings I’ve never seen & have begun to develop bike friendly routes & favorite rides. I get to know the roads so well that I notice every pothole or newly paved road on every street. I know all the tiny hills & also the dead bird that’s been sitting there for weeks. It’s a very intimate sport.

The best news is that my boyfriend bought a road bike recently. Exciting both that I have a boyfriend & that he owns a road bike! He was originally looking at hybrid-type bikes, but thank goodness went for a beautifully skinny-tire/fancy masterpiece. It is so cool that i have extreme bike envy. He now commutes to work (10 miles each way) three times a week! This is something everyone in Los Angeles always talks about doing, “I should really start riding my bike to work.” I’ve dreamed about it myself, but the logistics always seemed to be too overwhelming, “What do I wear?” “How sweaty will I be?” “Will a car run into me?”, etc. Well, he just got out there and did it.

I’ve made the best out of this commuting situation by meeting him on his ride home from work when I can, so I can get at least 12 or so miles in myself. It makes me super happy just seeing him in all the dorky bike gear (he refuses to walk out the door wearing the spandex shorts, though–something I embrace!) It’s awesome to have someone to talk to & to get the “How was your day?” out of the way while going 15 mph. Also, did I mention this commute involves mostly an ocean view? We are lucky people.

I was so excited to take him out Easter Sunday on my favorite Malibu ride. It started pouring down rain about 5 minutes into our ride, but he was a sport and made it through 20 miles in the rain. Not the perfect ride I wanted to show him, but I still had a blast. I loved getting pelted by water on the downhills. It was like a log ride without the long wait in line. I loved trying to tear off the rainy bike gear & having an excuse for eating frito pie (an Easter classic) immediately after.

I never knew I wanted to share this with anyone else. My school days are filled with endless noise and engagement, and I thrive on it when I’m in the moment. But I require major decompression time to wake up and do it again the next day. I cherish those quiet outdoor miles running or riding where so many ideas have been hatched (not by the dead bird, unfortunately) & peace has been found. I still have that time (I have been unable to get him to tag along on my REALLY long rides), but I find myself looking forward to meeting him on the bike. Now there is someone there when I’m screaming “Weeeeeee” or the latest Taylor Swift song, but I’m not sure this makes me look any more normal.

He’s riding 30+ miles on the same day I’m riding 100 at the Tour de Cure in Long Beach, and I couldn’t be more proud to put both of our bikes on a bike rack that morning. I think I always mocked those spandex-wearing couples, but now I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the day. If only he would EMBRACE THE SPANDEX. I will update you post-ride, & let you know if we’re both alive!