On becoming a cyclist

Our lovely friend Bruce (who is a triathlete) has lent us two bikes to have a try on with the view to one day trying a tri.

We’ve had them for a couple of weeks and finally yesterday afternoon we took them for a spin.  A wise woman and experienced cyclist suggested to us that bike shorts are the one piece of cycling gear not to scrimp on.  I have this thing about spending money on things.  If I buy something I have to use it no matter what.  Hence my reluctance to spend money on bike gear until I know that we are actually going to be regular cyclists.  Certain people in the household get into big trouble for spending money on things that don’t get used.  One guess as to who that is and it isn’t me!  No bike shorts were purchased for our first ride.  We went cold turkey without them.  More on bike shorts in a minute.

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We weren’t feeling like an audience for our first ride so we waited until everyone had left the farm for the day.  Out I go to get the bikes; then follows Pauly.  Aren’t you going to get changed?  I ask looking at his flannelette shirt and jeans.  No, he said, I’ll be fine like this.  I giggled.  I giggled more when he put on the white cycling shoes and helmet Bruce lent him.  I outright laughed when he tucked his jeans in his black socks.

Cycling fashionista and trend setter?  I don’t think so.

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Gingerly I crawled onto the bike.  I felt high-up and wobbly.  After a few swerves and shakes I was off.  The bike is so much lighter than a mountain bike and I haven’t cycled on one of those regularly for many many moons.  I cautiously navigated up the driveway, then down Brocks Road.  I was a little reluctant to zoom down the slight incline of Brocks Road so kept my hands ready to grab the brakes.  Of course that whiskery old dude in jeans and flannelette shirt was off like a racing car on steroids – he zoomed down that incline.  It wasn’t until we got to the sealed stretch of Cheshunt Road that I started to feel confident.  My average speed was 15km/h but at one point I got up to 26km/h.  Such a speedster!  All up we cycled 20kms.

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Back to those bike pantsSue you were right.  I have ouchy bits in places that I didn’t know existed.  And as for my Cycling Fashionista husband, if I don’t get some proper cycling gear for him the cycling police might come and arrest him!  I’m not sure but I think there is a law against cycling in flannelette.

At least he took his gum boots off!

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One ride down I hope of many happy cycling trips.  Even after one ride I feel heaps more confident.  I’m not sure how I’ll go in traffic (our farm roads are so quiet, we only saw two vehicles in 20kms yesterday).  My idea to try a tri is taking more form.  In fact yesterday with a 5km parkrun, a 500m swim and then a 20km ride I sort of did a tri (albeit rather spaced out in time over the day).

Yesterday I read a lovely blog by Debbie of Deb’s World entitled Blogging thoughts

A while ago I nearly gave up blogging due to the negative comments of someone.  I was completely taken aback at the time and hurt.  Special friends convinced me to keep writing.

Debbie summed up so well, so beautifully and so humbly about why she blogs and I sat there nodding and agreeing with her.  Debbie takes lovely photos and writes a happy, positive blog that’s also very real and down to earth.

Blogging is something I enjoy.  If others find encouragement from my words then I am happy.  For those who don’t like it, simple:  don’t read it.  Mostly I blog to make sense of this wonderful thing called running that has completely changed who I am and my concept of myself.  It has also introduced me to some lovely people who I believe are some of life’s angels.  People here who I see and talk to face to face and people out there in blogging land who I may never meet in person but who still have a very special place in my heart and who I consider to be my friends.

Please have a read of Debbie’s blog, she is one of those angels.

Happy cycling!  Next stop buying bike pants with a great big squishy thingy in the crutch!  Now, where’s my ice pack?

Happy running 🙂

Ps if you would like to read along on Sue’s adventures hop over to Travel Tales of Life.

Pps I’ve pulled up not too badly today.  I went for a lovely 15km run at happy pace.

Swans on the farm pond on my way back today

Swans on the farm pond on my way back today

Chocolate for breakfast, a gift from Mum and Dad.

Chocolate for breakfast, a gift from Mum and Dad.

A minute on the lips but not a lifetime on the hips thanks to running.

A minute on the lips but not a lifetime on the hips thanks to running.

30 thoughts on “On becoming a cyclist

  1. Yes you do need bike shorts! We rode in Italy a few years back and one young girl rode with no bike shorts for 8 days straight. To this day I don’t know how she did that. I rode only 40 miles today (about 60 km) with bike shorts and my butt was getting sore. Some days good, some days bad. No gum boots allowed lol

    • Hello lovely Cherie, wow 60kms! And riding for eight days with a squishy things in the pants…ugh! I’m going to get some as soon as possible. I sent a photo of Paul on the bike to Bruce yesterday (giggles) he was horrified! Bike gear for the old boy is needed asap! Hello to Joe from us 🙂 (Pauly just said that if he wore gum boots he wouldn’t have to tuck this jeans into his socks…no…just no!)

  2. … and she’s off!!! 😀

    It’s only a matter of time now. That triathlon is closer to reality than ever before!
    To ride for an hour and 20 minutes for your first time out on a bike is a very decent achievement! Good for you!

    Even with bike shorts, I get a very grouchy butt after a few hours on the bike. I was amazed at one guy in last year’s 600km bike rally from Toronto to Montreal who rode the entire distance in jean shorts and converse runners. I would have been crying on the side of the road part way through day 1.
    …. pant leg tucked into socks though? Oh Pauly ….

    • Jeans and converses for 600kms? That’s hardcore. I was nearly crying after my ride so I don’t know how that dude managed to go that long. Thanks for your encouragement Joanne, I’m going out to get some proper gear. I enjoyed the ride so much and 20kms seemed to fly by. I’m hearing you about the jeans in the socks. Then he forgot they were tucked in and went around for the rest of the evening like that. It was just the two of us at home but I felt like I was sharing the house with an old hobo especially with those whiskers. (Whiskers come off on the weekend after the dressup party thankfully).

  3. Annie I chuckled the whole way through. Oh dear cycling shorts straight away for you and email me for other tips on dealing with the bits and pieces down there. Likely you don’t want such details in your comments section. 🙂 Looks like you are almost set for your triathlon! You go girl, well right after you go shopping for some gear. Thanks so much for the shout out too.
    Oh and as to negative comments I definitely get folks who disagree with me that’s for sure. Any swearing or attack comments get deleted. Go figure that not everyone agrees with us. Blog on my friend. You are a ray of sunshine.

    • Thanks Sue 🙂 I didn’t put in the blog that I had a little stumble getting off the bike and hit the bar (a man’s bike) and am now sporting a huge technicolour bruise somewhere unmentionable (although it will be visible when I have bathers on because it seeps down my thigh). I’m not getting on the bike until I have bike shorts! I’ll see how I go with new shorts then might come and get those tips.
      Thanks for your encouragement. How can anyone not agree with us? Crazy! And why type it when you can vote by closing off the blog window and never visiting again. I don’t get it. We aren’t writing for sheep stations or anything! Thanks again x

  4. Lol! You are funny… It’s true! Never skimp on cycling shorts! I invested an arm and a leg on the best when I did mtn bike racing and it was worth every single cent!
    Haaahahaaahaaaa I think Pauly and J must be long lost brothers!!!! That’s exactly what J would would do lol!!!! Even now and he’s cycled in BIG races 🙂 🙂
    Go girl! You just never cease to amaze me!!!
    Happy Easter to you both xxx

    • That’s cute, he’s really talking about cycling in his gum boots next. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a husband who has interesting ideas about cycling fashion. Oh I so need those pants. What I didn’t put in the post is that I had a little stumble when getting off the bike (it’s a man’s bike) and I now have the biggest bruise in a place that doesn’t see day light – I’m talking technicoloured! And it hurts! hehe but I so can see the funny side. When I ran yesterday I went out slowly and carefully thinking that the bits would be too painful to run!

  5. Thanks so much for your lovely words Annie. I’m truly humbled and thrilled too that you can relate to what I was saying in my post. I was so excited yesterday that I think I left this comment in the wrong spot, so I’m now putting it here where it belongs.
    I’m sorry to hear that you have had negative feedback that nearly prevented you from continuing blogging, I just can’t imagine anyone taking offence at your sunny, positive posts!!
    As to cycling, I can assure you that you need great bike pants, a I’m sure you now by now. I have the cutest little pink cycling skirt with built in support and pockets on the legs, that I’m sure you’d love. Well done on doing 20km on your first attempt!! I did have a giggle at Paul’s trendy cycling look but don’t tell him that. My husband has finally relented to wearing some Lycra but only underneath everything else so it’s not easily seen.
    As I write this I am doing support duty for a cycling group, I’m an official driver and support crew member. It’s great fun helping out and encouraging the riders over the last few kms. I didn’t think I was up to the 90km ride today that they are doing up hill and down dale. It’s a great day to be alive 😊 Thanks again for you ongoing support and by recommending my little blog to others.

    • It was my pleasure Debbie. I love your blog and was so encouraged by your post. The negativity came face to face from someone which I was terribly hurt by, but that’s in the past and I’m trying to leave it there. I appreciate your understanding words xxx

      A pink cycling skirt….I must look into this! Everyone is giggling about Pauly’s cycling gear for his first ride. Honestly it has been a source of mirth for many! Even him.

      • I’m still thrilled and read your comments out to my husband. He still thinks of my blogging friends as crazy big burly truck drivers. But I think he’s warming to you after your lovely words and now that you’re looking at riding a bike too.
        I’ve entered into two runs in a few months and will be doing the 5k Run Melbourne in July. I’ve just put out feelers for a running coach as I feel I need direction on how to improve. Our town is very small and isolated but I’m hoping to find someone to help me. I always envy you with your running group and trainer. Anyway thanks again

      • big burly truck drivers…(giggles)…You will love Run Melbourne. I’m not sure if we’re all going to get there this year but if we are I will let you know! A catch up drink maybe would be awesome!!!! There are online coaches, I have a few friends who work with this way. Could be worth consideration. It’s hard being out in the back of beyond. I sometimes feel it’s such a pain to be where we are but we get into the city to run at least three or four times per week. All the best with finding a coach. I’m so happy that we have one. It’s made a huge difference to my running and to my confidence which in itself improves my running and makes it happier 🙂

  6. Well done for getting out there on the bike and I love the photos – the flannelette did make me giggle!

    As for the part about blogging, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve ever had negative comments but am so glad you kept going anyway! I love reading your blog – reading running blogs are what motivates me and reminds me that we all feel the same stuff, regardless of location, fitness or speed. I did go and read Deb’s blog – I love her comment about blogging just being a creative hobby like sewing, just one that happens to go out to the world. I don’t write for anyone else and am always a bit surprised (and thrilled!) when anyone actually reads it 🙂

    • Thanks Gill, you are sweet and I appreciate your encouragement. We running bloggers are all the same, those of us who get what running is all about. As you say not speed, just about getting out there and doing it. Thanks so much for your lovely comment and I’m glad the photos of the strange cycling attired of my husband gave you a giggle 🙂

  7. It took me ages to work up to a 20km ride! Well done. Looking forward to reading about your first triathlon but be warned – it is addictive. 🙂 Once you get your cycling pants, please remember they’re designed to be worn without undies (like swimmers/bathers/togs) or you’re still likely to end up with painful chafing in those unmentionable places. :/ Sounds like your friend Sue will have you covered with all that helpful advice though but noone told me initially so I’d hate for you to suffer the same fate. 😀

  8. I must have missed this one but one so close to my heart!
    I have gone from being a very timid wobbly cyclist to someone who can take on 160kms training rides solo!
    And you definitely need some good bike pants, a bit of chamois cream won’t go amiss and definitely no underwear!
    How exciting to read about this not stage of your Tri adventures, it has enriched my life so much and I’m sure it will add to already rich and fulfilled life 💜

    • Thanks for the tips Sam. You are my triathlon – Ironman inspiration. I had idea about the no underwear but makes sense. I’m not sure I’ll get as far as you have but I have my eyes firmly set on a try a tri next season.

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