apparently, I cycle now

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I'll admit it -- when I got to GranFondo last Saturday, I was intimidated. There were 7,500 people in very expensive spandex outfits with very expensive aerodynamic helmets (out of curiosity, am I the only one who wonders why you would pay $200 for a hat that makes you look like an alien?) and absolutely insanely expensive bikes. And all of these people were crammed in together, bike against bike, waiting to cross the starting line.

I felt like a big amateur with my paddle pedals (that's right -- I haven't even graduated to clip-ins yet), my $30 visor helmet and my street shoes. I also felt extremely claustrophobic.

So I went to the very back.

Literally, the very, very back. As in, my friend and I were the absolute last people to cross the starting line, and the announcer was telling us we needed to move faster.

Apparently, I took this to heart. Because after I stopped feeling so self-conscious, I discovered I am actually not a bad cyclist. In fact, I found myself continually panting "On your left" to other riders and passing them on the hills. That's right -- you people in your spandex and your carbon frames and your clippy pedals? Bubbye!

I also found myself talking to my bike a lot. At one point, I actually said "babe." Yes, my sanity may be questionable, but I think this means the relationship is official. I understand her gears now -- and we used them to our advantage Saturday -- so proud of my little green devil!

(Seriously, my bike is so cute. Swoon.)

The course was absolutely gorgeous -- imagine riding down winding country roads in the crisp air while leaves fall from the trees around you like confetti. Perfect autumn experience. (And how can you not call your bike "babe" when you're having what is clearly such a romantic date?)

Anyway, aside from the accident just before the turnaround point at Occidental (two older men down in the road, flat on their backs and being loaded onto stretchers while everyone else walked their bikes around) and the fact that my parts were simultaneously numb and chafed after the ride (it was so bad that it hurt to pee), I had a fantastic time and would definitely do it again -- although next time, with chamois cream.

(Added GranFondo perk: I spotted Patrick Dempsey in the VIP tent at the post-race festival. And perhaps even more awesome than McDreamy: I was standing at the finish line when Mark-Paul Gosselaar -- a.k.a. Zack from "Saved by the Bell" -- came across.)

And here's the biggest surprise of all: I don't know how on earth this happened, but when I checked the GranFondo results today, I discovered I came in second in my age group, with a total time of 2:38:29.2. And I was 17th for gender and 47th overall.

Seriously, WTF. This had to be the slowpoke group, right?


Layla said...

Wow, second in age group?! Yeah, you are SO going to leave me in the dust on the uphills whenever we ride together! That's so fantastic!!

Michaela said...

It had to have been a fluke. I was averaging 12 mph. I really think I was with a bunch of turtles. (Not that there is anything wrong with turtles, of course!)

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