I was scheduled yesterday to go cycling in the wine country with my race club. This was a golden opportunity as someone had made the arrangements and matched drivers to riders and there was a whole group going and I LOVE cycling in the wine country – it is fantastically beautiful terrain and the hills are just right.

As the week wore on I got more and more apprehensive of riding with this group because many of them are training for IM CDA and/or Vineman and this isn’t their first IM and they are fast. They ride at 18-20 mph and I do not. I thought about cancelling. I was pretty sure I had a sore throat coming on – yeah. And you know, my garden really need some work and um… really I’d just be a drag. Then, right on cue my dog came up lame and I thought that was the perfect excuse not to go. After all, I might have to take the dog to the vet. Mustn’t neglect a pet in favor of a ride, right? Of course I had just taken her in Thursday and dropped $95 for nothing but still…. and my son was home and could easily take her in but stilll.. I mean really….. really I should bow out.

And then Momo left me a comment and said “just who cares what speed you are, mom. just have fun out there and go your own pace” and I thought “yes – you are SO right Momo. I will ride my own ride”. I Momo – she is so wise and so kind and such an IronStud who was I not to take her advice?

Up at 5:00, dressed and ready to go at 6:00 and I head over to the park and ride where we are all meeting. I met my driver and passengers, put the bike in the rack and hopped in. We chatted on the way up about this and that I just decided to head out with this group and see what happened. What happened was that I got dropped in the first 2 miles. I thought about pounding it out and catching up and just hanging on to someone’s wheel but then I decided not to. I decided that I would go out for about 15 or so miles, call someone and tell them my plan and just head back the way I went out – and that’s what I did. It was brilliant! I rode 34 miles to their 54 (the extra miles are from getting lost, of course) and ended up back at the cars at exactly the same time as most of the Ironpeeps.

Turns out there were some women who I could have kept up with if I had just punched it in the beginning but that’s okay – I really, really, really enjoyed MY ride.

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20 Responses to Beeeyooootiful

  1. commodore says:

    I often suffer the “Why am I doing this” before workouts. Often its just a simple standing on the edge of the lake before jumping in. I just can’t do it.

    Then I jump in, catch up to everyone congregating and then they drop me as soon as we start the laps.

    But like you I make the best at what I can do.

  2. Kim says:

    Good for you!! Wow, I would love to get out to wine country sometime!

  3. momo says:

    i’m glad you went, mom! it looks like a beautiful day.

    my friend, krista and i were talking about this on our ride yesterday. i told her how when they first asked me to ride with them, i didn’t go at first because i was afraid of so many things – going downhill, being dropped, holding them up. little by little though, i kept showing up and things started to change, but mostly my attitude about it. each ride was for me – just like their rides were for them. and now i love being out there, i don’t worry about being in front or being in back, i ride my own pace – some break off now and then, but eventually (like you found) we all end up in the same place. 🙂

    i hope your dog feels better!

    and i love you too!

  4. Vickiw says:

    I’ve been reading your blog lately. We have a lot in common, not only in age. I do know how you feel on the riding, but I am hopeful it eventually gets easier. If only our season was longer! Good going though. You did great at Wildflower, BTW.

  5. waddler says:

    I so know how you feel. I would have loved to have been there to ride with you. Kudos to you for getting out there-it would have been easier to stay home but not as much satisfaction

  6. aj says:

    thats a good lesson to be learned. sometimes being dropped can be a good thing.

    sometimes, though, it just knocks you on your ass, mentally, so i totally understand the apprehension.

    good job, getting yourself out there. and next time just know… i’m over here on my own terrain, going through the exact same thing!

  7. fe-lady says:

    I am SO intimidated to go out on group rides…but I really need to. You are a great example to follow! Thanks!

  8. fe-lady says:

    I am SO intimidated to go out on group rides…but I really need to. You are a great example to follow! Thanks!

  9. fe-lady says:

    oops-sorry about that! I thought it wasn’t posting and was “hung up!”

  10. Juls says:

    I’m glad to read that you got out there and enjoyed yourself.

  11. yes – I know how you feel. I think it’s real progress when you can get away from the KEEP UP! panic/fear and into the enjoy the ride thing. So – progress!

  12. Mal James says:

    We all are intimidated by Group Rides, imagine the nerves of the fast guys who know that within their ranks someone is going to kick their Butt they are probably just as nervous as we are.
    But the common thought is that if we only ride with slower riders we will only get slower , embrace the challenge and hang on for as long as you can each week you will get stronger and stay with the pack for another mile and within six months you will be their to help a new rider and offer them the words of encouragement you needed today


  13. Laurie says:

    I’m glad you took Momo’s advice and had a great time. It is so easy to underscore our accomplishments when we are surrounded by Ironmen bloggers. You are doing a great job! Keep up the hard work.

  14. jeanne says:

    any number bigger than 10 is gigantor to me. it’s all relative!
    good job not listening to yourself!

  15. Wow! SO beautiful!

  16. Wow! SO beautiful!

  17. Jennifer P says:

    Sometimes those rides end up being the best!

  18. IronJenny says:

    Glad you enjoyed the ride…

  19. Susan says:

    I’m coming to CA in September – can I go cycling in wine country?

  20. Laura Lohr says:

    Sounds like an amazing ride, even solo. I still want to see the wine country sometime.

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