Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Ride London 100: skylarks and butterflies

So I got my new bike.


She's called Ruby and my husband suspects that if it came down to a choice between him or the bike, Ruby would win. He's right, of course. There are three of us in this marriage and Ruby is the one getting all the admiring looks. 


Ruby's official title is a Specialized Ruby Comp. She's black, with flashes of blue like a kingfisher. Built for a woman, it's the first bike on which I have been able to reach the brakes. I've previously had pull-up ones fitted and there are still times when I reach for those and panic to find nothing beneath the bars.

The best thing about Ruby is that she's a lot lighter. As a result, I ride faster. Stuck at an average of 11.3 mph, I was struggling to reach the 11.7 mph speed required for Ride London. Now, I'm nudging 14. Last week I did a 25 mile trip and averaged 14.5 mph fairly comfortably.

And the second best thing? I'm no longer at war with my saddle. Having been properly fitted for the bike I'm riding a lot higher and further forward than on my other bike. Scary at first, when I realised I couldn't put my foot to the ground. But my seat loves this one. 

I collected Ruby in good time for the Ride London 100. During the first rides I concentrated on listening to the skylarks and wondering if I could remember how to dismount. Now though, the butterflies are there. Big time. Ride London is just days away and I'm feeling sick with nerves. 

What if I fall off? What if they won't let me finish the course because I'm too slow? What if the residents of Surrey, irritated by all those bicycles, throw things at me? I've never wanted to do anything so badly. But what if I do it....badly? 

The forecast is not encouraging. According to the Express (never one to downplay a meteorological event), a hurricane will 'smash' into us on Sunday.

www.express.co.uk/news/nature/495557/UK-weather-forecast-tropical-storm-bertha-from-bahamas-to-hit-Britain

On the bright side, 50mph winds are promised. If those are behind me, I could be finished by 10am. 

At 8.17am on Sunday, Ruby and I will be putting all that training behind us and heading for the hills. Gulp. 






4 comments:

  1. Happy New Bike Day! -Red and Ruby (yes, my bike is named Ruby too)

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  2. How did you get on yesterday? Been interesting reading your blog and seeing how you have been progressing

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    Replies
    1. Hi thanks so much for reading my panic-stricken burblings! It was, to say the least, an adventure. But I made it and there's a new post up about the rain-soaked route.

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