Hills, and Beer and Road Rash... Oh My!

Friday night Dacia invited me to crash the triathlon team's training and join her for a ride along the Greenbelt.  Not one to pass up the opportunity to hang out with the amazing people in Team in Training, I accepted and met her after work for a ride.  We rode the 5 or so miles from her house to Lucky 13 where we met up with the rest of the group.  Later we rode back to her house in the dark.  It was a bit cold, a bit dodgy, and 100% awesome!

In the parking lot of Lucky 13, triathlon coach Roman no doubt telling a very entertaining story.
We ducked inside Lucky 13 and had a few beers and shot the breeze for a couple hours.  I think all training rides should end this way.  What a fun and relaxing way to spend an evening... in our spandex.  Ha!
Saturday morning the cycling team started out from Fort Boise at 11:00 for our 25 miler.  I love how big our group is this season!  We're missing about 5 members from this photo even.  Everyone out there is working hard to kick cancer in the ass!!

Here I am about 5 miles into the ride.  There were headwinds pushing against us the whole way.  Having spent the last year on a bike in the spin room I didn't realize how much of a difference wind makes!  I'm excited to get stronger and faster and cut through the wind like it's nothing {hopefully} soon!

We stopped in the parking lot at Lucky 13 to say hello to fellow teammate Ingrid at her salon.  I've been warned that I'll undoubtedly take a few spills due to my clip-in shoes until I get used to them, and I didn't disappoint.  As we pulled into the lot I remembered to unclip my right foot before stopping, and then leaned my bike to the left for my dismount.  Oops!  I quickly realized my mistake, but just held on and went with it.  I was completely fine, but my ego was bruised a bit.  Nothing a good laugh couldn't fix though.  I picked myself up, snapped a pic of my road rash and we took off again.
Next up on our course was tackling the hill to Lucky Peak Lake.  Having only driven this hill a few times, I was not quite sure what I was in for.  Climbing hills in the spin room is far different from climbing them on the bike though, of that I was certain.  We stopped at the base of the hill to grab some water and nourishment (almonds and raisins) before heading up.  The experienced members of my team told me what to expect and how to handle the hill, and we took off. 

I don't think it was harder than I expected necessarily, but it was difficult for sure.  Byron, who could have easily flown up the hill in no time, stayed with me the whole way.  About halfway up, I looked down at my bike computer and I saw I was only going 4mph!  "This sucks B," I said, "I'm going to be on this hill forever!"  I had to take a quick stretching rest halfway up.  I told Byron that my leg was cramping and we took a few minutes.  I think my leg was just an excuse though, and I was mentally hitting a wall.  I knew I could push my bike the rest of the way, but didn't want to.  I really wanted to make it up this hill.

I climbed back on my bike and started pedaling again as fast as I could.  I was really low mentally, and wanted to quit and just meet them at the bottom.  Suddenly Byron came up from behind me and said, "how great is it that we're out here and not stuck in some hospital?  We can be out here, riding up this hill and having a great day, and not have to worry about our meds."  He is so right and that was just the boost I needed!!  I kept pedaling and pretty soon I was at the top!

I'm excited to tackle this hill time and again.  I've set a benchmark now, and my goal is to climb without stopping, and increase my pace.  I love have benchmarks to beat.

Teammates Becky Lee, Julie and I at the top.
While climbing the hill was super tough and kicked my butt a bit, coming the down the hill was AWESOME!  It felt like it took only 30 seconds and I felt like I was flying.  I chanced a glance down at my speedometer and it read 27 mph!  I know that's not very fast in a car, but it felt awesome on a bicycle!

The rest of the ride back to Fort Boise was beautiful.  It was the perfect spring day.

I love my TEAM, I love this cause, and I love riding my bicycle and proving to myself time and again that I CAN DO THIS!

Distance: 23.54 miles
Max Speed: 27.6 mph
Total Distance on Odometer: 49.9

If you haven't had the opportunity, (or have, and want to give again!) to give a tax free donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, please visit my fundraising site here.  I'm just over 50% of my goal, and with your help, I KNOW we can surpass it and save even more lives like Byron's.

Are you wondering where your money goes and how it helps? 
  • $20 pays for nutrients to grow cells in a lab for one week that will be used to test new anticancer drugs.
  • $50 will register 1 person to be a bone marrow donor.
  • $100 will pay for the cost of 4 patient's chemotherapy drug prescription co-payments.
  • $300 will train 25 peer volunteers who can provide emotional support to newly diagnosed patients.
  • $500 will provide patient aid to a person with Leukemia or a related cancer for a year.