My first official bike ride was with my cyclist friend who got me started in the sport. He was a very fit father of two young girls to whom I was giving trampoline lessons that summer. I would watch Rob put on all this cool cycling gear and hop onto his spanking clean road bike. It intrigued me so I started asking questions and the next thing I knew, I found a tooth in a chocolate bar (see yesterday’s blog entry) and there I was with a new bike, ready to tackle the back roads.
On our first ride together, Rob decided that 45 K was a reasonable distance. Well, I “bonked” ( the term used when cyclists haven’t eaten or hydrated well before a ride and they fall apart with exhaustion) so when I finally got back to his house, I literally fell off the bike, stumbled into their kitchen and downed about six big bowls of Cheerios. That ride taught me the importance of eating and drinking well before a long bike ride!
Having this one ride under my belt, I decided that I was ready to join a cycling club and “ride with the big boys”. Now, I have to tell you something important here – when you’re on a road bike, you “clip in”, which means that your cycling shoes become attached to the pedal – you and the bike become one. You have to remember to clip out when you want to get off the bike. It becomes second nature when you’ve been riding for a while but it takes a little practice on the front end.
I was feeling pretty good about keeping up with the rest of the ‘roadies” as the cycling group headed north on Warden. I was drafting behind the faster riders, my cadence was good and it was a smooth ride. We were approaching a busy cross road so I needed to stop. A number of the cyclists were ahead, many of them balancing on their bikes, waiting for the traffic to pass.
I was engaged in what must have been an interesting conversation because when I caught up to the lead group of riders and stopped, I totally forgot to “click out” of my pedals and to the horror of the entire group, my bike and I leaned to the right and fell, hitting the cyclist beside me, who hit the cyclist beside him, who hit the cyclist beside him – you got it – domino affect, right through about 20 cyclists. Boom, boom, boom….down she goes.
It was not a pretty picture. As my pride and I laid there on the road, (I was still attached to my bike) I got a LOT of dirty looks from the group and I was pretty much delegated to the back of the pack for the remainder of the ride.
I think this experience remains one of the TOP 10 most embarrassing moments of my life.
First pride, then the crash – the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. Proverbs 16:18, The Message