I sit here, typing thing in “TextPad” which is basically Apple’s version of “Wordpad” in windows. A simple text editor. I’d love to enter it directly on my blog like I normally do, but Comcast has, yet again, failed to perform. In this situation, I believe some chuckle head probably hit a pole or something. My phone and internet worked less than 8 hours ago, they claim an area wide outage… I’ll cut them some slack, but I will be talking to Evelyn on Wednesday (her next day at work).
Anyway, back to my regularly scheduled blog… Yesterday was our first Team in Training “GTR” or group training ride. It started a little slow and I am not talking about the riding. We had two meetings and then bike check. I managed to escape without getting my bike checked – which is good. Sarah and I really don’t need a lot of bike checking… my bike would have likely confused the poor fellas. I decided to ride my fixie. It’s easier to ride at more casual speeds. It proved to be a good choice, for myself.
The ride was interesting. We rode around the “Buckhead” area of Atlanta. For those of you that don’t know … that’s the low-rent-district. Homes in this area often sell for 7 digits… No to homes are alike, but you have to remember what the one before looked like because they are all spaced out and there is lots of trees between them. (please note, if you missed it – my comments about low rent were sarcastic 🙂
Sarah did great. She was nervous – I could tell. There were a few squirrels on the ride which I quickly identified and quietly pointed out. I helped her find some “save zones” to ride amongst the group and she did great with that. Having not ridden in a while, she was a little “off her game” on the bicycle. I told her that would get better with a few more rides. Soon she will be riding, standing, shifting, turning like a pro.
I was a little taken back by the coach that pulled us all over to talk about various aspects of cycling and told us to never use your front brake when going fast. It took everything I had to bite my lip and not call bull**** on that. The front brake is the most effective brake. Over 60% of your stopping power comes from your front brake. If you are going to avoid using your front brake, you are going to double your stopping distance. As a rider and a coach, I prefer to teach people how to properly use their brakes. He also said you need to be careful and control your speed – his rule is when his computer says 32 mph he needs to slow down… As Sarah pointed out, he is a Senior Citizen – with SENIOR being the key word in that sentence.
The ride was tough – I’m not going to kid you on that. The coach told Sarah, they hit you hard with a tough ride very early. As you progress through your training, you get stronger and then come back to the initial hills and feel really good about yourself. I can see that. The hills were all pretty short… steep – but not that long, which was good. I think it came out close to 20 miles. It was definitely Sarah’s hardest ride. She has a lot more to come, but in due time! The coaches were helping her, which is good. A great first experience!