In the past couple of weeks, I have been stepping up my bike riding in preparation for Bostwick Lake Triathlon. Last Friday night, I left work and headed out to the State Park where I knew there to be some good, somewhat hilly riding to be had. In my recollection of the area surrounding Bostwick Lake, I am thinking it is kinda hilly, so I am trying to make sure I train on hills…hmmm sounds like Nashville Training all over again, right?
Sasha and I headed out onto the road. It started out pretty easy. Nothing too major. Nothing I couldn’t handle. I am learning to anticipate when to shift into a lower (easier) gear for the hills and when to take full advantage of the downhills. It was a beautiful ride. I LOVE being outdoors in God’s Playground!
The roads curved and swooshed around. For every hill climb there was an AMAZINGLY fun and slightly terrifying downhill and crazy speeds. OK, it was more than slightly terrifying. Coach can cruise along at 29 MPH and be totally fine. I, however, feel completely out of control!
As I headed back towards my car, I came around a curve to be hit by the MONSTER hill I had cruised down not 15 minutes earlier. It’s ok though, I can do this, I can down shift….ummm too late!
Off pops my chain and you will not believe how sudden of a stop you come to when your chain pops off and you are on an uphill. There is no coasting, folks. Of course I couldn’t process fast enough to get a foot on the ground and down I went! Yep Sasha dumped me on my butt. Not really…it was more my knees, shoulder and elbow…but you get the point!
I looked around. Did anybody just see that?
Crap! I am hidden by a curve. A car could come cruising around and not see me…I began scrambling to get my feet out of the straps, because of course my bike was in the air as it is still strapped to me. Quickly, but not as quickly as I would have liked, I was out and standing and assessing myself for injuries.
Hand/Wrist….boy am I glad I was wearing gloves because I KNOW my hand went scraping across the cement. No damage but it was tender too.
Ok, now how is Sasha? Her chain is off…and she is missing a cap on the handlebars.
Now my dilemma is, how do you put a chain back on? I know, I shouldn’t be out riding alone if I don’t know how to do things like fix a flat or put a chain on. Come to think of it, I should have a flat repair kit with me when I ride…oops. I like to live dangerously…or stupidly.
Within minutes, 2 young fancy looking bikers came by. They had passed me earlier while i was getting a drink and checked in on me. Now they see me again, on the side of the road, this time slightly worse for the wear.
“Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I am good!” as I inspect my chain and think, “How the heck am I gonna get this back on?”
Do I need a tool? I don’t have a tool if I need one. Umm I am about 5 or 6 miles from my car. Are they gone yet?
“Hey, did ya get it back on?” The nice boys ask.
I had to decide, am I gonna be prideful and tell them I got it, or admit I have no clue how to fix this.
I chose humility.
“Ummm, I don’t think I know how to do this really.”
Nice boy #1 got off his fancy bike with his cool aero bars and clip clopped over in his fancy bike shoes and his fancy riding outfit (can you tell I am jealous?) and leaned over and within 2 seconds (literally) had the chain back on.
Seriously? All I have to do is roll my pedal backwards and guide it on with my fingers??
Yep, enjoy the rest of your ride! and off he and his buddy went…
I walked up that awful hill with my bike…then hopped on and cruised, much slower, since my knee was throbbing back to my car…where I canceled my planned run.
Note to self: You really gotta get into one of the Bike Care classes at REI, ASAP!