Monday, March 19, 2007

Wow, that Sucked

Please tell me that I'll look back on this day sometime in the future and laugh.

Please tell me that I'll get better.

Please tell me that something similar (although certainly not as laughably, hideously, horrendously BAD) happened to you once, when you were just starting out but you've gotten over it and got better and now you can ride like Lance. Or at least like Bolder. Even if it isn't true, and even if it happened when you were 10 (just leave that part out. m'kay?). Please?

What in the heck am I talking about? I'm talking about my so-called "brick" workout today. I decided that I would take the old TRU POS* out for a spin today, during lunch, and follow it up with a short 2-mile recovery run. I only had about 20-25 minutes for the bike part, and I figured it would be best if I started out slowly, since I haven't been on the bike in several months/years (probably since last August...if you had a crap bike like I do, you'd avoid it, too).

So anyhoo, I get the Purple People Eater (it's a Murray Splash, as if that means anything --oh, and I just found out that the Murray bicycle company went out of business. In 2004. Which means that the POS bike is even older than I remember) out of the garage and spend a few minutes pumping up the tires, because they're both flatter than a pancake, and strapping the Garmin to the handlebars. I set NanoMark for 20 minutes and put him aside, so I could easily grab him and go running when the ride was over (setting up the transition, see?). And then we took off. Or tried to.

Suffice it to say that if the Running TxSkatemom were running alongside the Bicycling TxSkatemom, the Running TxSkatemom would have left the bike chick eating her dust. Had the bike chick had any energy left to eat after such a dismal performance. Yesterday's run splits were posted just for fun -- today's BIKE splits (I have to emphasize that these were on the bike, so you know you're not hallucinating) are more for your enjoyment, I'm sure. Like a trainwreck, these splits -- don't laugh too hard, it's tragic, really:

Mile 1 5:51
Mile 2 5:51
Mile 3 7:01
Mile 4 7:10

That's all there is. FOUR stinking miles on the bike. In 25 minutes +. There were points in time in those last two miles where the Garmin was reading my speed slower than 6.1 mph. I COULD HAVE RUN FASTER than I was cycling. Sheesh. Just. shoot. me. now.

So, what was/is the problem? Besides the piece of crap bike? Because trust me, I know full well that Lance Freakin' Armstrong could walk up to me right now and give me a bicycle just like his fit to my body and I *might* be able to crank it up to 10 mph. If the wind were at my back. The problem is the exact reason I've owned automatic transmission cars my whole life -- I don't know how to shift. I've read about the mechanics of shifting gears, and I don;t think I get the concept, much less know what to do when I get on the bicycle and start pedaling. I'm totally lost. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. But, yeah, there it is. Out loud, in the blogosphere for everyone to know: My name is TxSkatemom, and I don't know how to shift my bicycle gears.

So, what am I going to do about it? I am going to the bike shop up the street and ask for a lesson. How they react to me and my pitiful request will tell me a lot about whether I want to deal with them when it comes time to put out some ca$h and get a real bicycle. But, just like I had to learn to swim, it seems like I have to learn to bicycle, too. But, as my new Tom Petty PowerSong reminded me at the end of my 2-mile run today:

Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down.

Well I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground and I won't back down
OWN -- 4 miles/25 minutes "cycling" with a 2 mile run afterward. Yee-haw!

*TRU POS stands for Toys R Us Piece of Sh!t -- yes, folks, I bought my bike at Toys R Us. And it shows. But it was a steal -- only $46. I kid you not. I have promised myself (and Hub) that I won't spend any money on a real bike until I get at least two sprint tris under my belt. So, for now, we have this joy of machinery to ride.


JohnnyTri said...

Someone told me it was never the bikes fault, it was the engine driving it!

That soo bugged me but I guess its partialy true, ya, a top o the line Lance bike could help a little.

Great job tho, stay with it and you'll be zoooooming down the road!

Vickie said...

Well, I can relate here. My first attempt at biking was on a Schwin 3 speed, with a baby seat. When I was determined to do a triathlon, I dug out one of my kids' rusty hand-me-down bikes from the garage and road that. The chain constantly fell off and it was a purple mountain bike from Wal-Mart. As for the shifting part, when I finally got a REAL bike, I rode it a year before I knew how to shift. Shifters on the right, brakes on the left. You want to take gears OFF when going uphill and add gears ON when going down or on flats for more speed. Have someone show you how to work the shifters and you will do much better. Hey, you've started something here, so now you have to finish it!

IM Able said...

Oh, sweetheart, IT'S SO THE BIKE!!! Anybody who can run 10 minute miles over and over again (don't lie...that's you!) can ride a helluva sight faster than that!

It sounds stupid, but I did this once -- swear. Check the tire pressure. I went riding a couple of times with really low tire pressure and felt like a complete doofus. And trust me, those rides were s.l.o.w.

Just think, the moment you get on a road bike WATCH OUT TEXAS!!

From Here to There said...

Awww! You'll get better! There really is a lot to be said for a great bike. A POS bike does impede your progress, especially if shifting was optional.

What a great idea to learn how to shift properly on the trainer. I must do this too.

I think I'll take the bike out this weekend, if the snow is melted. You've inspired me.