So i had this bike and i wanted to ride it. Never rode a bike with more than 3 speeds or clipless pedals. Needless to say, the bike and i fell within 20 yards of the first time i mounted it – felt foolish but at least no one saw me. This was not the first time i fell, but i learned how to unclip quickly. Took me a year longer to figure out how to use those gears on the front rings.
The other thing i remembered was the lycra and how much laughter i provided my kids when they saw me in it.
The first ride was approx 2.5 miles with gentle rollers which i almost died riding up. Did not quit though – kept at it and rode a bit longer each ride until i was up to 5 miles within 2 weeks. Then 10 miles, then 12, then 15.
Decided that if i wanted to keep riding i might need to ride with others – started looking for a local club and found the Frederick Pedalers Bicycle Club. Joined the club and started riding with them and found that i hated hills. Did not deter me and i kept showing up for rides i had no business riding – but the club riders kept waiting for me and encouraging me along the way. Finally found out how to use those front gears on those rides.
Also learned that carbon fiber was lighter than aluminum and decided to trade the aluminum bike for a used carbon fiber Trek. The CF bike did make a difference in my climbing and was much more comfortable than the aluminum bike. It was most definitely due to the fit – the first bike was too big for me.
A few years later as i was riding and talking with a club member, i learned that he completed a cross country ride and also does some other long distance riding during the year. He told me about this randonneuring thing and pointed me to the DC Randonneurs. I was intrigued after just completing my first century in Salisbury, MD. Took me another year before and another Seagull Century before i joined the DCR and Randonneurs USA.
Another FP club member had also joined the DCR and RUSA and we decided to complete our first official ride (brevet) on the eastern shore of MD – the Flatbread 200.
and so began my rando career……….