This morning I rode in my first ever biking event. It was a lot of fun and I definitely want to do more like it.
Whenever I thought about it yesterday, I got nervous. Mainly just because I had never done this type of race before so I was afraid of not being prepared and not knowing where to go or what to do. It wasn’t timed or competitive, so I wasn’t worried about doing well. And since this was my first time, I chose to go the shortest distance, 12 miles, which is less than I routinely ride so I knew it would be easy.
My wonderful husband came with me because I didn’t know anyone else, but he was NOT happy when I told him that we needed to leave the house by 5:30 a.m. He grumbled and grumbled, but when it was actually time for me to wake him up he didn’t complain at all and was very sweet.
So we drove the 45 minutes to the race site and parked. It was still dark, and I had no idea where to pick up my registration packet. Fortunately it wasn’t hard to find; we just followed the music. The packet contained a t-shirt, water bottle, magnet, pen, and information about breast cancer and other racing events. I put my biking shoes on, visited the bathroom one last time, then got into place. David was able to hang out with me at the starting line right up until the end!
As for the course itself, we first had to navigate out of the college campus that we started on. After that we were on a rough road, going fairly slowly. I was getting a little frustrated until someone passed me and I realized that it was OK for me to pass the people in front of me whenever I wanted to, as long as I was safe. After that I started passing a bunch of people. Most of the course was flat, smooth highway with very little traffic. The back half had some rolling hills but they were still fairly easy. I saw one pit stop where a lot of people pulled off the road, but I kept going. If I had been riding a longer distance I probably would have stopped, but I didn’t think it was necessary.
Toward the end I had the road pretty much to myself. When I made the turn for the last mile there wasn’t another biker in sight. When I coasted through the finish line the volunteers were all just sitting around, but when they saw me they all started cheering. It was kind of embarrassing and cool at the same time. I immediately saw David and rode up to him. He said, “You’re the first one finished! You won the Tour de Pink!” I kept telling him that it wasn’t a race, that all the serious cyclists were probably going much longer distances, but he kept saying, “You won!” It was so cute. :)
We didn’t stick around for the after-race festivities because I realized that if we left right away we could make it to church on time. And we did, although we were both so tired that I don’t think the sermon really sunk in for either of us. I would definitely do this event again, and next time I think I’ll go a longer distance.
Having participated in this also made my wish list grow. Here are some things that I definitely want to acquire soon:
1. A women’s specific seat. Riding on mine makes my bum and my female area go numb ever so quickly. I constantly have to stand up just to relieve the pressure.
2. A saddle bag. I need a place to put my phone and my keys when I ride. Right now I just shove my phone in my pants, but it’s not too comfortable.
3. A flat tire repair kit. I haven’t had one yet, but I want to be prepared when it happens.
Next up on the race agenda is the Galveston Seawall Crawl 5k on November 7. Gotta start focusing on running again!