On Monday, May 4th, Shannon and I had biking fittings with the awesome Lorri Lee Lown, of Velogirls – Northern California’s largest women’s cycling club. Shannon discovered her on the ALC8 discussion forum when she responded to his post regarding his saddle. He told me about her because he knew that I needed a proper fitting because of some of the challenges I was having with comfort on longer rides. She has a lot of experience and expertise fitting women, which is a very needed skill in the male dominated world of cycling. She did a GREAT job with both of us – we both feel stronger. I, however, am having some adjustment time – my saddle is brand new and it proved a bit tough for 85 miles…
We rode a 85 miles from San Francisco to Pt Reyes and back.
Here’s our path (you can click and drag as well as zoom in and out right here!):
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That’s as long as our first day to Santa Cruz – I did it – but barely.
If it weren’t for my freaking awesome teammates’ support, I would have taken the bus home from Fairfax on the way back. Emily gave me Advil to kill the pain in my back (new riding position) and my butt (new saddle – apparently they need to be “broken in”) and after our pit stop, Justin told me that I’m “not allowed” to take the bus and that they’ll ride whatever pace I need. Because of the sweetness in that sentiment, I didn’t remind them that they’d essentially already been doing that every time they stopped to wait for me to catch up. By then the Advil had kicked in and I felt okay, if not actually excited, to go ahead and ride all the way home.
And I did! We all did!
I felt really slow the whole way; it seemed that I was always catching up to my teammates while they awaited my arrival. But they were all smiles.
PHEW! This stuff is hard! But so rewarding.
:Begin bike nerd details:
Now I’m focusing on working my core as that’s the key to my new (and more athletically accurate) riding position: Curved back, all weight in the legs, hands & arms are only there for balance, not weight support.
I’ve got new handlebars coming in the mail to allow my hands to be aligned with my acromion so as to help with that “non weight supporting” ideal. Apparently, the bar is pretty rare because it’s so narrow (like my shoulders, surprisingly) so we had to get a new stem that not only put me 2 inches farther out (Lorri thought I needed more reach, ironically, as that’s what I’ve been bugging Shan to reduce, but her explanation along with her other adjustments make a lot of sense to me as far as what “comfort” should feel like on a road bike, compared to my 10 years on a mountain/hybrid) but also will accommodate the new oversize bar.
Shannon’s already installed my new, “no float” cleats to help keep my legs focused in the same plane, rather than getting to move a few degrees here or there. I’d had a little problem with my left leg and Lorri thought this type of cleat would be a good way to train my legs to operate correctly. And I’ve not had a problem with using cleats and don’t think that this change will be hard to get used to.
:End of bike nerd details:
Now I just need to finish up getting the necessary gear – jerseys and shorts mostly. Gosh, I hope I still like riding after ALC8 – I’d hate to have all of this gear and nothing to do with it!
Aiming to do another 60 mile ride as well as a couple of 25 mile rides this week and next to finish up with the training part of this wild ride.
OH – and, if you’ve got a few $$ to spare – I could really use another $1700 to get to my $5k goal http://tofighthiv.org/goto/adrienecrimson
Every bit helps!
Thanks so much for all of your support – however you offer it!