Girl Meets Bike

Melody Goes the Distance

Biking Update #23 (also, I lost count):

You guys, I BIKED THIRTY MILES THIS MORNING. In a row. One in front of each other. There’s a part of me that wants to be self-deprecating about this, and make some disclaimer about how that’s nothing for “real” bikers or “yeah, but I was really slow.” Which I was– solid D pace biker here. I just learned what that means, and I think it’s like the bottom of the barrel, slowest of the slow (is there an E? maybe there should be?!). I’m not a huge fan of the classification, actually. A D is a failing grade in school, so it just feels gross. When my kindergartener brings home report cards, there’s not letter grades per se, but acronyms that mean different things. DS- developing skill. That seems a little kinder. Hey, I am not slow, I am just “developing my skills” as a biker. All that to say, I am not actually going to make any disclaimers. I am going to claim that shit and toot that horn and tell all of you that I just propelled my body 30 miles with the breath from my own lungs and the strength from my own muscles. Somebody give this girl a trophy.

A few random thoughts:

*I was really, super mad about something when I started out on this ride. Pure, raging vitriol fueled the first 10 miles. After that my crotch started to hurt and I couldn’t really think about too much else. Speaking of crotches, and since I know you’re curious about mine, here’s my assessment of padded shorts. I have two different pairs, one was expensive from a legitimate retailer, one was $19.99 from Amazon. It turns out that you get what you pay for, and after using the cheap pair for the last 30 miles, my vagina may never be the same.

*Bike riders are real chill. I passed three this morning, and one of them didn’t acknowledge me and two gave me stiff, awkward waves. This is exactly opposite of who I am as a person. I see another biker, and I want to be like, “OMG!!! You like riding bikes too?! I LOVE riding bikes! Twins! What kind of bike is that? How much did it cost? Can I try it? Does your crotch hurt? It is it normal for my bike shorts chamois thingy to be so wet that I’m not actually sure if I peed myself? (No really I am not sure?) Want to ride with me? I know you were just going 25 mph, and I am still a Developing Skill-er bringing up the rear at 11 mph, but that’s fine. Want to be best friends???” Nope. None of that was had. It might be because I don’t quite look the part yet, or it might be because I have a little mirror on my handlebars. I have it on good authority that real bikers would never be caught with mirrors like that, but listen buddy. I have a good 50 lbs on you and I just dragged my ass up that same hill that you did. Respect, bro. Be a little more enthusiastic with your wave next time, k?

*I am learning something about hills. When I first started this, I went out and drove a bunch of routes to find the flattest loops. But you guys, I am learning that hills are really not the enemy. For one thing, they ALWAYS look way bigger from far way. I am not sure why this is true, but it totally is. I think there’s a life lesson somewhere in this. Kind of like how I always put off calling the gynecologist to make my annual appointment, and it seems like this horrible, embarrassing huge deal. And then you go, and it’s really not that big of a deal at all. Now that I think about it, the vaginal discomfort of a long bike ride is about on par with a pap smear, so I think this is actually a pretty solid analogy. Additionally, as I am learning more about my bike, I am figuring out which gears to use that make it not so horrible. What’s that old proverb? “I am not afraid of the hills, for I am learning to shift my gears.” Or something like that, I forget.

*Also– cars, this one is for you. Don’t be douchebags, ok? I have a hard time not taking it personally when you don’t give me 4′ of space of this big, wide open road. On a very serious note, a friend of mine lost her cyclist husband last year to a driver who was most likely on his phone. It is not going to kill you to move over, but it might kill me if you don’t. Please be careful.

*I passed Mark in the Lititz Bikeworks van and that made my day. He honked and waved and I was all, “hey, hey! that’s MY BIKE SHOP, MAN!!” Cause, you know. I have a bike shop that I frequent. What? NBD. I’m super chill about it.

*In case you don’t know me, I’m real white. Super white. So if you’re super white like me, and you go out for a couple hours on your bike, you might want to wear sunscreen, OK? I mean, I’m not speaking from experience or anything, because I certainly wouldn’t be dumb enough to not wear sunscreen in June.

On a completely unrelated note, aloe and lavender for sun burn, right? Asking for a friend.

Just a reminder: These blogs are written by customer and new forever friend, Melody Strayer. She and her husband, Chris, own Stray Productions, a fab, forward-thinking, super creative Production/Event company in Lititz, PA. Check them out!

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