Cycling 101

A few months back, RJ and I signed up for a sprint triathlon which takes place next month. As part of our training we have to learn to successfully manuever road bikes. As is his custom when taking up any hobby, RJ decked himself out the best he could for this adventure. Here are a FEW of his new toys:

A bright red bike, some snazzy biker shorts, an aerodynamic helmet, special sweat-letting socks, two waterbottles (plus holders) and an emergency bike kit (see just under his miniature seat) which contains a CO2 cartridge, an extra tire tube and a tool for removing flat tubes.

Not shown are his alternate bike pump and special truck bike racks.

In case it wasn’t clear, he also got clips put on in place of his pedals. He assures me that these, along with the shoes (shown below) make riding much easier because all of the movement of your leg is productive. Since you’re attached to the pedal you not only push down but you also pull up.

These special shoes are a lot like ski boots in the way that you put them on. To get them off you turn your heel out. I have several friends who’ve fallen over on their bikes because they weren’t able to “clip out” fast enough. RJ assures me that this will not be happening to him and I agree…he’s done beautifully on our two rides.

These should give an entirely new meaning to the phrase “bike shorts.” Our friends assured us that the tiny road bike seats could only be tolerated when wearing something akin to depends. So we both invested in these special fashion statements. As a female, walking with all that bulkiness is uncomfortable but not altogether unfamiliar. To my companion though, the feeling is quite unique. This next picture will better illustrate the reasons for his discomfort…

Nice. I think my shorts resemble the uterus-shaped pancake shown in the birds & bees video back in 5th grade. I’m not sure what the strategy is with RJ’s but we won’t think about that for too long…

And if all that wasn’t too much information, this next little ditty should put us over the top…the biker’s best friend…Body Glide. That’s right. I imagine you can guess what this is for. The guy at the store recommended that we apply it directly to the “padding” on our shorts. Ugh.

Lest you think that I came away empty-handed, I would like to introduce you to my biking gloves…yet more padding to protect my precious hands from callouses. Please notice the dainty grey flowers because there is nothing dainty about this next photo…

And there I am…in my helmet from Academy, my 3 yr old running shoes (with pedals, no less) on my borrowed bike with only one water bottle. It’s a good thing I got a fancy no-sweat shirt for Christmas otherwise I’d pale in comparison to “The Cyclist.” If he were here, I’m sure he would point out that I am indeed pale, but that’s beside the point. By our second ride, I think all of that stuff was weighing him down because yours truly beat him by 1/2 a mile.

Despite the disparity in our riding conditions we both had a great time. Now we’ve got 3 weeks left to master shifting (which takes quite a bit of skill) and build endurance. Wish us luck!

10 Comments on “Cycling 101

  1. that is awesome. We want to get some bikes to start riding together. Perhaps not quite in such detail as you two are. You kids look like you are ready to go! Those biker shorts are … interesting to say the least!! ps- I think this means you got your camera fixed! yay!

  2. I was already cracking up about all the stuff Ritchie bought…and then when I got to the uterus pancake part, I just died laughing. I think you are right, it does resemble the uterus pancake. This is a great blog, I’m about to read it again. Good luck with your triathalon.

  3. I’m laughing out loud. Such wonderful and detailed photos and descriptions. Never let it be said that RJ is unprepared, the ultimate Boy Scout! It’s good to know that even if you’re not as high-tech you’ve still got speed.

  4. Grandpa and I had a good laugh as well. It never ceases to amaze us with the challenges you come up with. You both look quite sporty! Love You!

  5. This was just too funny. I loved all the details. Good luck! I think I will stick to an exercise boke (ok fine. I dont do those either)

  6. I also wanted to tell you I laughed so hard when you asked Carrie if the pen lady had any pants for Carrie!

  7. hahaaha, those are so great! i had no idea so much goes into biking! you always see bikers and think they look pretty serious, but dang! i’m also extremely impressed (but not surprised, you guys are always doing active stuff)! good luck!

  8. That looks like fun! Steven was supposed to get a road bike for Christmas but has hasn’t found the time to shop for one yet. I showed him this and he was impressed with “the cyclist”, especially the CO2 emergency cartridge. I hope to get into biking as much as Steven plans to but I must admit, I get a bit scared of the wedgie-butt-floss seats! I was just telling Steven the other day when we get into that I’m going to have to get a pair of those padded beauties you guys have on. I laughed pretty hard at the inside-out picture of them!Love you.

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