Big ole slice of humble pie

5 Dec

On Saturday I decided to leave my bubble and traveled north to Huntington Beach for a group ride with fellow blogger, Patrick and the other guys at Out-spoke-n bike shop.  Patrick and I met through Out-spoke-n, an awesome bike shop that carries Tough Chik and he introduced me to the world of blogging and most of you.  See, full circle. Anyhoo… Patrick and I have been trying to ride together for over a year, but it never seemed to work with our schedules, either I was training for ALC or just to lazy to get my butt out of bed and drive 45 minutes for a group ride.

On Saturday the stars aligned, my usual riding partner, the hubs, was sick and my bestie, who I have been begging to ride with training was out of town.  I saw the posted route on facebook and thought what the hell.  Through previous attempts to meet up, Patrick had promised me that I would be able to hang and that they weren’t “that aggressive”.  This new found self confidence of my riding ability flooded over me and I was up for a ride.

You may or may not know that we have been experiencing what is know as Santa Ana winds over the past week or so.

The National Weather Service defines Santa Ana winds as

“Strong down slope winds that blow through the mountain passes in southern California. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 mph, are warm and dry and can severely exacerbate brush or forest fires, especially under drought conditions.”

Friday night there was a little back and forth as to if the ride was going to be canceled, but it was decided to go ahead and ride with the knowledge that the originally planned 78 mile ride may be cut in half.  I decided to see what the wind was like when I woke up and make it a game time decision.  Saturday when I woke up and it was calm, and I was good to go.  Patrick texted me that it was calm there too, so I packed up Pinky (my bike) and headed up north.

Five of us headed out south along Pacific Coast Highway, 4 guys and me, but what else is new. I knew for a fact that Patrick and another fellow team member in attendance were racers and suspected that the other guys were experience cyclists as well.  It didn’t take long for the wind to pick up and we were facing a pretty strong head wind/cross wind and it didn’t stop.  I don’t know the exact strength of the winds and could make something up like 80 mph (because that is what it felt like) but then you wouldn’t believe another word of this post.  About 7 or 8 miles into the ride I started to drop back and Patrick rode with me.  We all met back up and it was decided that 18 to 19 mph pace was good for everyone and we would try to stay in that sweet spot.  I could hang there for awhile, but the wind was draining my energy and every little hill I would drop farther behind.  I don’t want to sound full of myself, but it has been a very long time since I was dropped.  I am usually the one saying “no, it is okay, this pace is great, don’t worry about it”.  The guys were great but it was very obvious that I was holding them back.  They refused to let me ride alone and were so cool about the whole thing.  We ended up cutting the ride short and did an out and back along PCH.

As I headed home, I called my husband and told him about my deflating ride.  He tried to raise my spirits by telling me that the guys were just more powerful and stronger than I and could battle the wind easier.  Geez, thanks, but I understand what he was getting at.  They were stronger, plain and simple.  He asked if I thought I could hang with them on a calm day, my answer…probably not right now.  But you always hear that you should ride (or run) with someone stronger than you and that is what I did.  I was proud of myself.  I tested my abilities and I have some work to do, but that is ok.

Will I join them again?  Absolutely.  They were cool guys and I would like to do some work here and see if I can hang next time.

There is always a next time!


4 Responses to “Big ole slice of humble pie”

  1. Michelle Bouchard December 5, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Shannon, you are awesome to give it a try. It sounds so hard and I know I would have been really far behind. They were super cool to wait and not leave you behind too, so kudos to them. Maybe next time the winds will be more in your favor. Great job!

  2. milesmusclesmom December 5, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Way to go girl!! Sounds like a tough ride and I am happy to hear that P was awesome.
    I’m coming out there someday and I’ll ride with y’all too!!

  3. Pam Griffey December 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    I have SO been here…in cycling and running alike. It can be deflating in the moment but (with the help of my good friend/training partner of the last few years) I have started to try to make the effort to convert my thinking. Trying anything new (be it route, routine, riding or running companions) can be intimidating and often doesn’t go as expected. As soon as I can get some distance from my disappointment–always self-inflicted–I try to honestly reflect on what I learned in the experience and what the people who didn’t have my struggles can teach me for next time. After many years feeling trapped by my obesity, it has only been the last 3 that I started to feel confident to even ATTEMPT the activities I now enjoy. Attempting can be its own victory, and the battle isn’t always easy. But if it was easy, everyone could do it!

  4. Patrick Mahoney December 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    I think the winds literally started the second we turned on to PCH from the shop. Thanks for coming, please let’s do it again. Or we’ll do Santiago.

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