Saturday, July 13, 2013

New bike, 32 miles

I've been wanting to dabble in bike riding for a while now.  I rode bikes all growing up, and thinking back, we didn't just peddle around the neighborhood, we rode for miles and miles daily.  We didn't think much of it, we were kids and had endless amounts of energy.

While I don't have endless amounts of energy these days, I do try and keep active.  I run daily, and chase after a couple kids, which I think sometimes can be harder than running a few miles.  :)
For my 38th birthday, I bought a bike.  I went back and forth for a while, considering a cheap bike, but I know how I like to overdue every activity I dive into, and figured I might as well go big.

I went to Jack's Bicycle Shop in Monroe, MI.  After explaining to the salesman what I intended to use the bike for, he showed me a few models.  I really liked the Specialized Sirrus.  I took it for a ride and was in love.  I couldn't believe how incredibly light the bike was, how smooth it rode and shifted.   I gave it a few days, but knew right away that was it.
The first real ride I did was out to a local restaurant about 8 miles away.  A friend and I biked down to the Sand Bar in LaSalle, MI.  We took a different route back, and ended up riding a total of 18-19 miles.
I decided earlier this week I wanted to go for a little longer ride to see what it was like.   I shortened my normal Saturday morning long run to 3 miles.  I grabbed my new water bottle a couple granola bars and headed out.
I initially planned on just riding for an hour south, and seeing how far I ended up.  The wind was at my back so I was feeling pretty good.  I was keeping a 15-16 mph avg. pace.  I pulled out my phone and saw on Google Maps that I wasn't far from Ohio, so I went for it.
Around the 14 mile mark I hit something on the side of the road.  It sounded like a piece of steel or something.  I figured if my tire went flat, my bike would come to a stop, so I just kept riding, hoping they would stay inflated.
I made it to Ohio in just over an hour.  I took a 10 minute break, ate my granola bars, drank some water, hopped back on the bike and headed north.
I noticed right away the wind was against me.  I realized then how I rode so fast for 16 miles.
The ride home was rough.  It was difficult to hold a fast pace with the wind against me.  A few times the road was curvy, I was able to pick up speed but other than that, I slowed down quite a bit.
On the final mile home, I glanced down and noticed my rear tire looked low.  The bike was riding fine though, at least it seemed like it was.
I made it home. I was pretty exhausted, and despite drinking water the whole time, I felt dehydrated.
The first thing I did was hop off the bike and check the the rear tire.  It was completely flat.  I was puzzled, because the bike was riding pretty solid, I had no clue it was flat.  I am hoping I didn't ride on it for too long flat like that, but everything seems to be ok, just a flat rear tire.

Anyhow, for my first long ride it was decent.  Cars were good to me, I saw quite a few other bikers out, tons of stinky road kill and I think I got a little sun.   Before my next long solo trip, I'm going to purchase some more gear ...  a tire kit and pump is next on the list!

Total ride: 32.87 miles

Here's a map of the route:

View Larger Map