For years now my father has been big into biking. Road biking, mountain biking, he loves it all. And for nearly that same number of years, he’s been trying to get me to try it with him. I’m not sure what’s been holding me back. Maybe the fact that you have to lock your feet into the pedals… Yeah. Probably that.
There’s also the fear that I would get bulldozed by all the more practiced and speedy bikers. To be honest, it can initially be a pretty intimidating group of people.
Look at those kids! Don’t they look ruthless in their quest for speed?
Yeah, that’s me starting behind all the families because I didn’t want to be overwhelmed at the starting gate. Stopping and starting is the hardest part. Seriously.
The Tour de Gap has been raising money for local nonprofits since 1983. This year the money raised went to Big Brother, Big Sisters. With 34 years of such a benevolent presence in the Abilene community, I knew this event had to be included. So, two weeks ago I caved. I’ve no explanation for my change of heart, but suddenly it sounded like fun! It sounded like an #EventToBeScene.
Eleven miles certainly sounded a lot farther than it ended up feeling. So I was a little nervous.
We took a practice ride around my parent’s neighborhood about 3-days before the race to make sure my bike was adjusted correctly, but that’s all the prior experience I had! Unless you count RPM at Hendrick. Which I don’t, because there’s no risk of crashing or falling on a stationary bike.
I was surprised at how much fun I had and I was pleasantly surprised to see how fast I was going!
Y’all that smug ‘after’ face is because I came in first in the female division and made it in the newspaper on my second ride! Check it out! If this isn’t a testament to how new-rider friendly this event is, I don’t know what is. I even won a water bottle in the 11-mile race bib raffle. And of course, immediately afterwards the race I had the deliciously calorie laden Poppin’ Johnny Burger from Rock’n Rollers to celebrate. Because, you know, recovery…
I am already making plans to participate again next year. Tour de Gap 2017 is scheduled for July 22. I recommend you put it on your calendar.
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@bajaelsol & @AbileneScene