On April 10th, 2010 I’m riding in a 65 mile bike marathon that will take more than six hours to complete. Am I crazy? Or, am I crazy? At this point I can’t really wrap my head around this notion of being on my bike for six hours. So for now I just focus on each Saturday training ride as they come and I’m sure eventually this reality will sink in. But after this past weekend’s 35.6 mile ride my “ass” is begging me to quit.  Oh Lord, how did I get myself into this predicament?

Rewind to three months ago…

One of the things I’ve noticed from day one of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is that bike riding is engrained deep into the culture.  We’ve got the hippie bike riders trying to save the planet from unnecessary car exhaust and we’ve got the avid cyclists who wear the skin tight biking clothes and think they own the road in their riding packs. Up until a few months ago, the former REALLY annoyed me.

So it’s pretty ironic that when a woman from work sent a mass email asking who would be interested in riding in the Cinderella Classic 65 mile bike marathon that I would raise my hand. Being a few weeks after my big milestone birthday I figured it would be a great “30th birthday challenge”. So I ran straight into my girlfriend’s office and begged her to do the ride with me. I reminded her that her 30th b-day was only five days after mine and she needed a challenge too! Much to my delight, she reluctantly agreed to do the ride.

So our journey into the San Francisco cycling culture began. First let me say that this is an extremely expensive hobby. I say “hobby” because I don’t think I’ll ever become a true “cyclist”. I’m a Saturday rider. But it seems that just about every Friday I’m plunking down a hundred bucks at REI on some new gadget for my bike or article of clothing.

Well this past Friday my big purchase was a new – cushier – bike seat. I never knew how taxing bike riding is on your booty! But each week as our training mileage increases from 17 to 25 to 27 my poor little bum has been feeling the burn. But nothing could prepare me for 35 miles.

A beautiful – butt challenging ride

We had the most beautiful ride through the Livermore vineyards with the green rolling hills of the California countryside as our panoramic view. The blue sky 63 degree day and smell of fresh cut grass made for a spectacular ride. But by mile 25 I was gritting my teeth in pure agony! OH MAMA, my ass was grass. By the time we finally completed the ride and were packing our bikes up in our cars three hours later, one of my new riding friends made the comment; “Up until this point I’ve been fine with these rides, but this is the first time I’ve really been like, GET ME THE FUCK OFF THIS BIKE”. I laughed outloud because this was my nonstop chant in my final 7 miles! And to think I’ve got 30 more miles to ride to the actual finish line in April. Unnngh!!!

Two days later I’m still waddling. I have to shift a lot in my chair in order to get comfortable. Now this is freaking me out a bit because I have a 37 mile ride in just five more days. The pain may subside by then, but the memory is burned into my brain! So I ask that you please pray for me that I can get through this insanely crazy 30th birthday challenge schmallenge!

I have an idea for next week though. See pic to the left. You don’t think anyone will say anything do you?

8 Comments on 30th Birthday challenge: 65 mile bike marathon

  1. You may be complaining now but by the time you go on your vacay with the girls and hit the beach – you’ll probably have a pretty trim and tight bum!! Think of the positives here. Keep us posted on your bike challenge. And we’ll pray for you too!! Stay safe.

  2. girl, you should be really proud of yourself! even though i love exercising, hiking, swimming, and riding my beach cruiser, i prefer to do it all at my own pace. i’m not competitive, so maybe that’s why i wouldn’t enjoy such a challenge. i have several friends who do the marathons & tri’s, and i have to give credit where credit is due: you guys rock!

    it takes mental & physical conditioning to ride 65 miles, so maybe you need to make yourself an mp3 playlist with songs that get you pumped up; add some inspirational voice recordings from your hubby, family, friends, even Lance Armstrong (via his recorded books!) 6 hours is a stretch of time, but a phenomenal playlist will keep you going through the tough stretches. it always helps to have something in your head other than “get me the f*ck off this bike.” good luck with your training; can’t wait to hear about the marathon!

  3. Thanks for the positive encouragement Cristina! I would so make a playlist if wearing headphones on the ride wasn’t a “no no” in the Cinderella rule book! I guess they want us to hear the traffic or people trying to communicate with us. WHATEVER. Maybe I’ll just wear my ear phone in one ear because yes – 6 hours is a helluva ride and I need something to keep me motivated!! I’ll def be blogging about my ongoing experiences during training and of course – the big ride. Stay tuned and thanks again for the comment!

  4. This is good for you since you never do anything physical. Is Jeff doing it too? He needs to! ha ha! Maybe Jeff could start training for a 1/2 marathon or something. Get him out on those trails behind your house.

  5. I beg to differ – I am too physical! I work out 3 times a week! This is a significant challenge and I’m definitely pushing myself, but it’s not like I got off the couch for the first time to train for this thing!!!

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