Don’t you just love it when the unexpected happens and a depressing day becomes a super sunny one (metaphorically. It rained most of the day). The only drawback with the unexpected is that you don’t expect it, so you can’t look forward to it. Had I known my phone was going to ping just before home time with a message from Emma-born-on-a-bike-Osenton inviting me on an evening ride, I would’ve enjoyed my day a lot more with expectations of my unexpected ride. Having accepted the unexpected invitation, I then worked myself into a little panic about where Emma might take me and whether it would be the end of a beautiful friendship as she realised just how totally hopeless I am on two wheels.
I needn’t have worried. Emma not only leant me a super shiny Kinesis FF29 (think I’ve got that right) bright green mountain bike (nice colour), but she took me on a short manageable route (8 miles – marathon to me really but I’m trying to be cool) with just the odd 8.8% incline. I know this because she also brought her computery thing along which draws pictures of where we went and shows the Alpine-looking climbs in impressive profile. The device also tells me that I used a mere 119 calories despite having a moving time of 1 hour and 8 minutes. This information is slightly disconcerting as I am sure I lost about half my body weight in sweat and the rest in blood and tears. I am going to assume the device is slightly faulty in this respect.
So – awesome ride and I learnt a few useful things;
1. as a novice, it was worth quashing my embarrassment/pride/fear/hysteria/shame/panic and go out on a ride to listen and learn from someone who knows what they’re doing.
2. It was a really good idea to try a different bike. This might seem obvious to experienced cyclists – but it never occurred to me that this might be the done thing. I thought that I’d buy some kit and learn to love it. What today taught me is that my bike is just not geared up for the hills – I need more than 16 to get up our South Pennine slopes.
3. Going down a steep gravel track rigid with fear is not a good idea.
4. To the jerk who drove past us shouting something abusive about riding single file I say this – when you begin something new I hope you can find someone like Emma who will take you out, shield you from traffic, encourage you up hills, walk with you on the too-steep bits and turn your day into a super sunny one despite the rain. Then again, I don’t think you deserve it!