TL;DR I had a great bike ride this morning and want to write ALL about it.
My second bike ride was a resounding success, though my wrists, arms, and back may vehemently disagree by tomorrow. I set my alarm to get up early but was still exhausted after yesterday's run + swim brick workout. I slept a little later and resolved to still ride and just go into work late, knowing the exercise would pay off in mood enhancement and work focus through the day.
I went out to White Rock Lake, known as one of the premier recreation areas in Dallas, and did my first loop around the lake, which is a big thing. It's 9 miles all the way around, and I never would have believed that my first full loop wouldn't be on foot, considering how long I've been running.
I struggle with getting my second foot into the toe cage when I start, but I'm getting more comfortable with the slow, rolling start I need to wriggle in there. I didn't falter on the challenging narrow switchbacks to get up a steep hill. After I stopped for a selfie, I did snag my shorts on the seat when I pedaled forward and slid my bottom back onto the seat. Good thing I wear high-waisted runderwear to show off when my outer layer slips. (Like that time my silver hot pants slipped off my bum entirely in a water tank at an obstacle race and I wasn’t all that bothered because my black boxer briefs cover more than the shorts in the first place.) It was hilariously awkward, and I'm glad no one was in sight to see it.
The weather was GORGEOUS, and I'm so glad I undertook the challenge of completing the loop and followed through. I feel great! I maintained an average 11 mph speed for 50 minutes for a total of 9.3 miles. I'd call the exertion comfortably difficult and do believe I can get through 12.6 miles after a 300-m swim within a 1-hour goal window (for the ride only) at my sprint tri this Sunday! (To clarify, there are no specific cutoffs at this event other than the whole course closing after 3.5 hours, which is more than enough for me.)
I feel a bit self-conscious and awkward about bringing my bicycle into the office since I'm not about to leave it in the parking garage, but coworkers have been very supportive and positive, asking eager questions about my training when we squeeze into the elevator together.
I was really nervous about investing so much money and effort in a bike when I still don't know whether my knees will take to this exercise for any sort of long-distance training. In my early 20s, I struggled with crooked knee caps and could hardly stand to ride with my knees click-cracking on every rotation, but they've been quiet and pain-free so far on this go-round. *knock on wood*
Still nervous but definitely beginning to enjoy this.