Bicycling To Support Your Life Energy
A 48 Mile Grueling Bicycle Ride Deserves a Roadbike
When I first started this site it was totally dedicated to my vegan journey and how it supports my life energy. I now find myself incorporating my experiences with my different forms of exercise because they also play a very important part in supporting my life energy: my mental and physical health. Physical activity and eating healthy go hand in hand in promoting good mental and physical health.
I started doing some long distance bike riding this year with a couple of friends of mine. I have been out bike riding with them twice so far this summer and I hope to get a couple of more days in before it gets too cold to ride. They all have road bikes, and I was the one who stuck out like a sore thumb riding the lone mountain bike. It is a pretty good mountain bike and I was able to keep up with them, but I had to work extra hard. I welcomed the challenge because I like to push myself and see what I can do. But let me tell you, that was a whole lot of pushing my second time riding with them. My friend Alex and his wife Vicky upgraded to new high tech Trek road bikes from their pretty decent road bikes, and the pace picked up this time from the first time we all went riding together. Ed was riding his same supa-dupa Specialized bike. I was riding my mountain bike the first time we rode together and for half of the trip the second time we rode.
We ride a pretty demanding ride starting on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, and we ride straight up Highway 9W. The first time we rode 9W to Nyack NJ, which was about 19 miles one way. The second time we rode up to Rockland Lake State Park, which was about 24 miles one way. I think we are going to do the Rockland Lake State Park ride again because the park was really beautiful and peaceful.
Though the Rockland Lake State Park ride is 48 miles round trip, I don't think the distance is the hard part. The hills are killers! Highway 9W contains plenty of hills, and none of us look forward to the hills on the second half of our trip headed back to our starting point by the GW Bridge. It is nice to know we conquered them once we get pass the first major hills heading back home, but it is really not fun while we are struggling to get past them (smile).
As we ride there is some friendly competition going on. Those road bikes of theirs don't like to see a mountain bike pass them, and those road bikes start going a little faster to try to keep the mountain bike in back (smile). During our first trip, the mountain bike beat the road bikes back home. I give credit to my determination and will power, and also give much credit to my new vegan diet. My health, stamina, and ease of breathing enabled to me to ride fast, even though I had not ridden a road bike in 4 years. Alex gave me props, but he also had something up his sleeves for me the next time we rode, two new high-tech Trek road bikes (smile).
Those bikes are fast! Vicky who was in back of me last time was now out in front for most of the trip headed up to the Sate Park. Ed was out in front also, and Alex and I kept switching positions in back. I still did pretty good for riding a mountain bike against those road bikes. Once we got near the park we stopped momentarily because the roads were blocked off and Vicky and Ed were surprised that I pulled up very shortly after them, and Vicky had to say I was lucky. LOL! Nope, I just worked extra hard. But it did take its toll on me, because I had to exert a lot of energy.
Once we got to the park we relaxed for a little while, but we didn't want to relax too much because we could have fallen asleep out there. (smile)
Once we took in the sites and did a loop around the park, we headed back home with the daunting task of the hills in the back of our minds. Before we really got on our way back, I needed to stop to get some water because I drank all of mine. Don't you know that the first opened store we came upon was a bike store (smiling). I went in to get a bottle of water and came out with a bottle of water and a new white/black/red Specialized road bike, LOL! (Thanks Ed for helping me to pick it out.) I took it for a test bike around the parking lot and the bike felt so light and so fast. The salesperson jokes that my friends would be in the back of me headed back home because I was able to keep up with them on the mountain bike. LOL, I think that got them fired up because they were riding like champions on the way back. Oh, I didn't leave the mountain bike there. The store had it shipped to one of their branch stores that was closer to me, and I will pick it up from there.
Anywho (I know I am not spelling this correctly but I like anywho), Alex took off and we didn't see him for a while. Ed and Vicky moved in front of me and started to pull away from me going up those hills. What was happening here, LOL? I was supposed to be going faster on this new road bike, but I was going slower. The word here in new. I didn't know the bike and I couldn't get the front gears to go down, and I had to ride up those murderous hills on a higher gear, but I wouldn't let that stop me. I made it up the hills on a higher gear, and Ed and Vicky stopped for me at the top. And no they didn't have to wait long, LOL! Anywho, I needed to stop to figure out how to change the gears because I couldn't and wouldn't ride the hills like that again. My heart felt like it was going to burst through my chest, LOL!
I think Vicky thought I was trying to make an excuse for pulling up the rear this time, and she wasn't trying to hear that I couldn't change gears properly. Ed did figure out what the problem was. Instead of pushing the gear control all the way over the way I was doing, which "all off a sudden expert" Vicky kept telling me I needed to do, Ed figured out that I had to double click to make the gear do down. I think Ed realized how much energy I must have expended to get up those hills on a higher gear, and he asked me if I wanted to rest. I was not going to rest because I might not have wanted to get back on the bike, LOL!
That struggle wiped me out and I had to pull up the rear for the rest of the trip.
With the speed Alex was riding and the amount of time we stopped to figure out how to properly change my gears, Alex was now way out in front. Alex pulled over somewhere and waited out of sight for all of us to pass him, and when he caught back up with me he had to brag that he had to wait almost 10 minutes for us to pass. I let him know we had to stop to fix my bike, LOL!
It was a good ride and hopefully we get to ride again this weekend. I want to shout and to Alex and Vicky, a beautiful married couple that do a lot together, and they get their ride on!