Pedal Wenches 

There are times when you have to push yourself and that’s what this summer’s activities are all about for me. I have joined a female road bike riding group called the pedal wenches. Isn’t that a great pun in the name!

I grew up on a farm and we didn’t spend a lot of time riding bikes. It wasn’t really until our children were small that we spent much time biking. My skills seriously increased with two European self guided bike trips. Between the miles and the experiences you just naturally become a more seasoned experienced rider. I am still not super happy highway riding despite the wide shoulders as the high speed traffic (especially semi’s) always seems to rock me a little but I do try to ride home from work a few times in the summer. I am actually happier out here on the gravel in the hills doing my 7 or 10 km loops with minimal traffic.

I purchased a used road bike last spring for triathlons but have only put about 25 Kms on it. So that’s the first part of the equation where I am out of my comfort zone. The second part is riding in a group of any size while navigating through the city streets and the highway. So it was with some trepidation that I found myself surrounded by 75+ women tonight picking a group to ride in.

I chose a beginner level group for those two reasons above. It was also a small group so that was good as with the two leaders there were only six of us. I learnt several group riding housekeeping type items plus a few road bike tips from both leaders but found that the 22km wasn’t at a fast enough pace for me. I want to challenge myself to come out at the end of the summer as a stronger better rider so sitting down in a lower level isn’t going to achieve that goal so next week will move up a group level and see how that goes.

I am blown away by how easy riding a road bike is compared to a mountain bike or a hybrid. I’m slowly adjusting to the different gear shifts but haven’t made a firm decision yet about whether or not to switch over to the clip pedals. I know that they are more efficient but I’m rather leery about the two categories — those that have fallen and those that will fall. Learn new things versus stay in one piece although there is never any guarantee when you bike that you will come out of your ride intact. Heck there is no assurance on any given day so one must live life to the fullest.

Bernie

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