In the nine months that I’ve owned Andre (my bike), I’ve gone on just one long bike ride. And even that wasn’t very long – 12 miles or so, out to Gravelly Point (for a picnic) and back. I actually blame the marathon. Every free weekend I had was dedicated to racking up those running miles, and the last thing I wanted to do after running 20, was bike that same distance.
But this weekend we had the time.
I’d also never taken advantage of Beach Drive being closed on the weekend, so this past Saturday, even though it wasn’t particularly beautiful out, we planned to go for a nice 20-miler.
Now, I still don’t have bike-specific clothes, so I busted out my running spandex and old pair of sneakers, and vowed that I’d get a pair of those butt-padded shorts eventually. But that was really my main concern.
Turns out? It should have been the shoes.
The adventure started off fantastically, and it felt like the miles were flying by. I even practiced holding the curvy part of my handlebars (is there a technical term for that?) so I could feel like a real racer.
I didn’t. And I could have sworn I was much lower than it looks, but it still got my adrenaline pumping.
From Beach Drive we jumped onto Capital Crescent trail to make our way back toward Georgetown. It was smooth sailing, and Guillermo (and the boyfriend) kept me posted on just how fast we were going.
At one point, I noticed how the trail is just a little bit raised, so that there’s a bit of a dip to the dirt shoulder. And I thought, this is what scares me. I bet if I hit the side at this speed, I’d lose control.
Talk about foreshadowing.
I felt the tug first. It was the tug of my shoelace catching a little bit on my gears. Not a big deal, I thought, let me just slightly shift my foot…Well, *slightly* was all it took.
Before I knew what was happening my front tire had hit that little edge, my bike spun out from under me, and I was on my butt, all tangled up with Andre.
I was shaken, for sure. And the bruises that have shown up on the backs of my legs are slowly turning that lovely shade of purple.
But luckily, that’s all. I’m not broken, and neither is Andre. And the boyfriend was there to help me shake it off and encourage me to get back on the horse, so to speak.
I told him later, “This is exactly why I don’t want clip-in shoes! I would have been stuck!”
Although, after this experience, I am strongly considering velcro.
*At least four different groups of cyclists stopped while we were on the side of the road to make sure everything was okay. Granted, cycling may be a little more dangerous, but I’ve never had any runners stop to make sure I was all right, including when I was going through my “run fast and vomit” phase.