Yesterday was my first ride with Team Popular members. We met at the Malibu Country Mart and rode 15 miles north on PCH over rolling hills. Gorgeous day. Lots of cars. So much learned about riding from my teammates.
Team Captain David is a five-time ALC participant and strong fundraiser. Watching him ride feels like watching a Tour de France cyclist. He’s a great coach.
Bestie Stephen is the person who roped me into this. He likes to claim that he is a spaz on the bike but let me tell you that’s total baloney. So graceful. He’s a wonderful motivator and teacher.
Teammate Eric started last year as a first-time rider and has become a dedicated rider. He’s got lots of tips that are perfect for a newbie like me!
With their help, I learned about how to use gears, specifically the strategy of using the downhill to boost you uphill. I learned this because on one of the early downhills they flew by me, zipping up the hill while I totally stalled. In fact, I even dropped my chain mid-shift. Ooops! They taught me that I have to have a lot of resistance on the bike going downhill in order to gain any traction on my pedal stroke. Once I’m going uphill there’s a moment when I have to make a big adjustment in which flywheel I’m using in order to lighten the resistance. Knowing which gear is right comes from time in the saddle but I started to get a sense of where I’m comfortable & how to shift at the right moment. I only dropped my chain one more time!
This was also my first real experience on hills. My one real doubt about doing this whole ALC ride is that I wouldn’t be able to do the hills. Well, yesterday helped break me through that fear. I now know I can do this!
And I’m determined to train so that I can keep up with them.
If you'd like to make a donation to support my ride and the two great organizations this ride benefits, click HERE.