Home > Cycle 4 SchoolBOX, Preparation > First outdoor ride of 2011

First outdoor ride of 2011

April 27th – first outdoor training ride of 2011! It all came flooding back — there is so much more to riding than just getting on your bike and pedaling.

Like what? Well, first, you have to decide what to wear. 10°C (50°F) and overcast — need warmth and rain protection; Helmet liner against rain; Booties to keep the shoes dry; ‘Repair kit’ — spare tube, tools, pump, lights; Two bottles filled with water — only planning a shortish ride (~50 km, 32 miles), so no need for a sports drink; Plastic bag holds some money, a couple of energy bars and my cell phone. The bag goes into one of the three pockets at the back of my riding jersey. The other two pockets get filled with my keys and the garage-door opener. (Won’t need those on the Cycle4SchoolBOX!)

10:30 am. Ready to roll. Oh wait — must check the tires’ air pressure. This will be a daily routine. OK, now I’m ready. Roll down the back lane, clip my shoes in, adjust the mirror, merge onto the street. Everything feels fine. Heading south towards Lake Ontario. Traffic isn’t too bad. But the road is showing the wear-and-tear signs of the just-departed winter. I divide my attention between the cars and the holes in the road. I approach one big set of deep cracks: can’t ride around them. Stand on the pedals and try to minimize the bounding. I hear a thud and slow down. One of my bottles bounced out of its cage. It rolls onto the left lane, where it is flattened by a silver SUV , spewing water. Oh well. I dismount and tighten the cages. Something about closing the barn door after the horse…

Heading west along the lake. Nice, comfortable, uneventful. Bike is working well and I am feeling good. No strange noises or rattles. Nothing aches. My fancy electronic gizmo is feeding me lots of data: speed, average speed, distance, cadence, calories consumed, elapsed time. I am happy. There are only a few other riders on the trail, as well as several runners and roller-bladers.

A little over an hour later I am in Port Credit. Just over 25 km, 16 miles. Time to turn around. And then it hit me — the wind is coming straight from the east and blowing directly at me! My average speed drops by almost 10 kph, or 6 mph! What a pain! I focus on my cadence, keeping it up over 90 rpm. I swig some water. This is hard work!

Another hour and I stop to wolf down an energy bar. finish the water in the surviving bottle. And make the final push home. Thankfully there was only a bit of rain. I pull into the garage. I am quite tired. And I know that this is just the first ride and that my stamina will improve rapidly with each ride. So…till tomorrow!

  1. April 28, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Sounds great Ilan- Perhaps that water bottle wasn’t meant to travel across Canada… Last night I met with Bill Johnston; a great guy, dedicated cyclist and wonderful SchoolBOX supporter. He wants to join you for 100 km of the ride- and is happy to make a contribution to Cycle 4 SchoolBOX to help the kids. Awesome… Great things are happening.

  2. linda
    April 28, 2011 at 8:53 am

    What a great description of your first right outside Ilan. I’m excited for the adventure ahead.

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