Sunday, June 23, 2013

Just A Little Road Rash

A little while back I started taking more notice of a couple local bicycling clubs and found one that really interested me.  The Team Army Fort Bliss club does quite a few weekend rides on the local post, where Char and I live.  I've been wanting to do more group rides, and get Char into them as well, but they mostly start way over on the west side of El Paso, and I don't always feel like driving so far just to ride my bike.

I've also been wanting to get Char into a group ride somewhere.  She's never ridden in a peloton or paceline before and it's a whole different experience.  I needed a group that she could try out and where I could help her out if needed.  She's not very fast yet, and get's very nervous when she's too close to other bikes.

Sunday, I grabbed Char and dragged her to our first ride with the Team Army guys.  They had promised a decent pace, about 16-18mph, and all on post so we were already comfortable with the neighborhood we'd be riding in.  I had hoped for a more divers crowd, there were no female riders this time, but they were all friendly and open to letting a couple newbies join their group.  They were very patient and accepting of Char's skill level.

We took off, and I was impressed with how Char kept up with our pace for most of the first 15 miles.  Once or twice she needed a push to catch up to the group (an actual push from a really strong rider, also named Jason) but otherwise she held her own.

We ran into a decent headwind after about 15 miles, and I stayed back with her to help her draft when possible.  It also didn't help that we had also ridden the day before so her legs were already pretty much toast.

Only one hiccup during the ride.

About two miles from the finish we pulled up to a stop sign.  The lead rider had come back to make sure we didn't take a wrong turn.  There were no cars coming at all in any direction and we were ready to slowly roll through the intersection (Sunday morning, no traffic to be seen anywhere).  The other rider and I saw the police car at the same time and immediately stopped at the stop sign.  Char was a little slower, hit her brakes, slipped while unclipping from her pedals, and went straight to the ground.  All I heard was her shouting "J" before I turned to see her underneath her bike.

So, brand new bike on it's second maiden voyage and Char's lying underneath it swearing.

Char was fine apart from a little road rash on her knee.  Luckily the bike (brand new carbon rig) got a little scratch on the brake/shifter handle and that was all.
A few hours later and you can't hardly see the road rash.
Nothing that a little white enamel paint can't take care of.
She picked herself up and we rode straight to Starbuck's without any more surprises.
Team ArmyFort Bliss at Starbuck's for a well deserved coffee break.
Overall, not a bad 25 mile ride at all.  Char got to try her first group ride, laid her bike down without too much pain or damage, and we both tried something new together.

Guess you gotta start somewhere.

Now we'll see how she's feeling by September for the Oryx Challenge.

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