Tag archive for "cycling"

Bike Maintenance 101

Fitness

Bike Maintenance 101

3 Comments 23 June 2010

I depend on the Husband during every training ride.  He chooses the length and route, he leads and I follow, and I know that he’ll be there if I need him.  Of course he’ll be there if I do something stupid and tip over in the parking lot, but he’s also there to fix flat tires and put the chain back on if it falls off.

But not on race day.  It’s all me.  If I get a flat, I’ve got to fix it, or the race is over.  And I’ve worked too hard for that.  So that gave me a little motivation to learn something that I care absolutely nothing about.  Replacing a tube.

Last weekend I took Bike Maintenance 101, which was taught by a very patient Husband.  He’s been repairing bikes since he was a kid, so he knows the official names for parts like the poky thingy, the spiky thingy, the clicker changer thingy, and the whirly thingy.  But even more important than that, he knows what to do when the parts don’t do what they’re supposed to do.

I knew I had to learn this stuff before the triathlon, but since I had an opportunity to ride with a friend this week I had to learn sooner than later.  I’d be the one leading this ride, so I needed to be ready in case anything went wrong.

So the Husband took me to REI and I got my own little bike purse.

Or “gear bag”.  I was hoping for a pink one, but it’s the perfect size for my repair gear, my iPhone, and a pink lip gloss.

And we got this cool tire inflator that works with a CO2 cartridge.  I just love gadgets, and although I prefer gadgets that work in the kitchen, I was quite impressed with this one.  With one squeeze of the trigger my tire inflated perfectly!  Fun!

Finally I got something pink.  The tire pryer, or the “tire lever”.

Oh yes, and the new inside tire, or “tube”.

So, I practiced in the comfort of my living room, I passed the Husband’s test, and I was ready for my first ride without him.  Although I’m armed with a little knowledge and hands-on experience, I still hope I never have to fix a flat tire at the side of the road!

My First (and hopefully ONLY) Crash

Fitness

My First (and hopefully ONLY) Crash

3 Comments 20 June 2010

When I started training for the triathlon, the Husband told me that it’s not a matter of if I will crash on the bike, but when I will crash.  Yesterday, I had my crash.  And I’m really hoping it counts.

As we were swimming laps, I kept seeing the sky getting darker and darker.  I was really hoping that we could finish our swim before hearing thunder followed by lifeguard whistles.  Thankfully, we finished that portion of our training and headed out to get our bikes.  Maybe my mind was on the fact that the hot and humid morning was starting to feel cooler, and that the wind offering respite from the heat was most likely going to be followed by a nasty storm.  Maybe, just maybe, my mind wasn’t completely focused on the mechanics of riding…or even on the balance required to start riding.  Maybe I was a little preoccupied with that unsettling feeling that maybe we wouldn’t be finishing the ride that we had planned for that day.  Or maybe it was just the time for my crash.

Even though the dark clouds continued to roll in, we decided to at least start the ride.  (I suggested a Starbucks stop until the storm passed through, but the pavement would still be wet afterward, and we’d have to tone down the pace anyway.  And what training benefit would there be to riding at a slow pace just to get in the training time?  We agreed that it was all out now or not at all.)  I snapped my shoe into the pedal and BAM!

I don’t even remember the falling part.  I just remember realizing that I couldn’t twist my cycling shoe out of the clipless pedal fast enough.  But I do remember the landing part.  It was mostly on my left palm and forearm.  And then what hit even harder than my body on the pavement was the realization that I had just had my crash.  IN THE PARKING LOT!  And if that wasn’t bad enough, I wasn’t even RIDING!  My first crash wasn’t even bragworthy!  I had stepped into the left pedal, lifted my right foot off the ground, and before I could even fumble for the right pedal, I fell hard to the left.  How humiliating!  As I wiped off the blood from my knee, I must have apologized a hundred times to the Husband for ruining our transition time.  (If you know the Husband, you know that he was more annoyed by my apologies than anything else.)  I couldn’t believe what a stupid mistake I had just made.  And we didn’t have time for stupidity.  We had a storm to beat!

I tried to laugh about my idiotic crash as we started off.  It was mere minutes before the sprinkles began.  A few miles in and the sprinkles turned to rain.  Any hopes of a long ride were dashed as the rumble of thunder quickly followed.

You know that I am completely driven by “the plan”. The schedule dictated an 80 minute ride, and now the weather was, once again, interfering with my plan.  How dare it!

Should we continue?  Should we just bike laps through the local neighborhood and keep it close to the truck?  The transition from rain to downpour quickly made it clear that we were done for the day.

I was one very unhappy rider.  Not only did I have a ridiculous first crash, but now I couldn’t even finish the training ride.  I don’t even think we made it five miles.

I suppose I should be thankful.  Considering the weather, the wet pavement, and the fact that only a tiny piece of rubber separated me from the pavement, I should actually be extremely grateful for many things:

1.  My injuries were minor.  (Yes, the bruising will be nasty, and the ache in my arm has now migrated to my shoulder and back, but I’m sure that will subside within days.)
2.  I fell by my truck, which amazingly comes with a comprehensive first aid kit.  (Apparently, Nissan understands the type who would buy an Xterra!)
3.  I have a training partner with common sense who shut down the ride when the rain picked up.  As much as I argued against turning back, he was right to call it.
4.  We made it back to the truck on wet, slick roads without further injuries.
5.  I’m going to believe that I’ve HAD my crash.  As embarrassing as it was, if you’re going to crash, doesn’t crashing at 0 mph sound ideal?

So, I’m thankful.  I’m a little achy.  I need help gripping to open a jar.  But I’m healthy, I’m safe, and I am ready for a great training week ahead.

Are you ready, Carla?  I have some miles to make up!


A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, friend, fitness fanatic, foodie, high raw vegan, child of the King, and Mama Cat. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. And now I have another challenge ahead...I'm moving to New York City! I look forward to Living Raw Vegan in the City and sharing my experience with you.

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