My First Road Ride

Today, I did my first ever road ride. With Marty, of course. I made it 11.7 miles and I didn’t really feel like I did a great job, at first. About a quarter mile before we finished, I had a moment. I will just leave it at that. I had a moment. I finished, though, so that’s not too shabby. Tonight, I asked myself why this ride seemed harder than some of the longer rides I’ve done. I was extremely tired and didn’t sleep well last night, but can that really be a reason for my riding the struggle bus today!? I don’t know.

I really enjoyed the ride, despite the struggle. The scenery is pretty and I really love all the farm animals. So many cute cows and horses! I really do think it would have been a more amazing ride if I had not been so tired. I rode my little red bike (my Gunnar gravel bike) and was thinking it might be nice to try this again with a road bike. I learned to ride a bike as a kid, but never did any real biking until last year. I had an old, broken mountain bike that I gave away and I bought a new Fuji mountain bike in 2020. Because I enjoyed riding so much last year, I decided to get a better bike for the trails…..and that’s where my little red bike comes into the picture.

I bought a new helmet and used it today. It is absolutely AMAZING. I got the Specialized S-works Prevail II. My head wasn’t soaked after the ride and the fit is fantastic, It also comes with ANGI– so if I fall, it will send a message to the app on my phone that will alert my emergency contact if I don’t turn it off in one minute. I wasn’t looking for this feature, but as I do ride alone sometimes, it is a good idea. I wish I had gotten this helmet over a year go! Such a big difference.

Marty has been riding for over 25 years, so he has to slow way down for me! I do often feel just a tiny bit bad that I hold him up so much. The other day in Cincy, I saw the e version of the Bianchi road bike that I like, which made me start thinking about getting an e-road bike. I have also looked at one of the Specialized e-road bikes. As I was riding today, I could see the benefit to having a little assistance going up hill here and there. I could still get lots of exercise AND have the ability to do longer rides with Marty without having any moments. Several weeks ago, Marty told me about a study that showed e-bike riders got more exercise and got healthier than peers who were given regular bikes. This one article discusses some of the findings here. Forbes discusses the benefits and states it is NOT cheating in an article found here. One study found: Riding both types of bikes “placed the vast majority of participants in the vigorous-intensity heart rate zone,” I found it all to be interesting and hope you will, too.

My dream bike may turn into the Bianchi e-Aria, but I am not 100% certain. I really think it would be fun to go on longer rides with Marty and not hold him up. To be clear, he does NOT complain or tell me that I’m slowing him down. He’s been super patient with me and always waits for me or stays and rides with me. He’s definitely a gentleman. While I know he doesn’t care that I’m not as skilled on a road bike as is he, I also know that sometimes he might have a little more fun if I could go a little faster and a little further. I would also have more fun while still getting plenty of exercise!

We will see what the future brings. Maybe it will bring longer faster rides. Like Jim and all the other store personnel have told me (and Tina), “E bikes aren’t cheating if you aren’t racing. If you are looking to get more exercise in, they will help you.” If you are over 50 like I am, you might like to read this article about the benefits of e-bikes for older riders.

Even though I was riding on the struggle bus for the last part of the ride, it was still a wonderful day with SO many blessings. With more hard work, I’ll look back and see progress, just as happened in all areas of my life. The only way to get better is to practice!

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