Bike Maintenance

smug face

At 99 Bikes North Lakes for a Bike Maintenance Class. Feeling pleased with myself at my organisation skills.

So it turns out that I can’t drag Shane (my partner) behind me on a little bike trailer to fix any flat tyres or bicycle issues that crop up in my triathlons.  Primarily because he is refusing to do it.

Sad face.

Which means that I had to commit to learning yet another skill for triathlon training – bike maintenance. Continue reading

Bike Swim Bike

transition setup

The receptionist watched me set this up with a look that clearly said ‘Are you on drugs?’

The traditional triathlon approach (and the approach favoured by both of my upcoming triathlons) is Swim-then-Bike-then-Run.  I have been practicing the ‘Transition Two’ from cycling to running with limited success.  In fact scratch that – I’ve been practicing the transition from cycling to running with repeated failures too pathetic to even document on this blog.  It’s really hard to control your legs sufficiently to run after doing a bike ride, especially when I’m trying to maintain my pain-preventing good form.

So T2 is a failure thus far.  Which made me think that I should probably test out the other transition (from swim to bike) as well, just in case I am also rubbish at that. Continue reading

Rookie Lessons

bike grease

My bike loves me so much she kisses me on the leg as we ride. But her mouth is dirty.

I’ve been cycling on the road for just over a week now, and am enjoying it immensely.  By acting confident, I have gained real confidence and I feel as though I belong on the road just as much as everyone else.  I take pride in being a courteous cyclist, helping to enhance the good name of road bike riders everywhere.  I make sure to keep as far left as possible, I ride safely, I don’t do anything that would scare my fellow road users.

I actually feel more comfortable on the road than riding on the path, where I always worried I’d suddenly run over some pedestrians as they stepped out of their front gate.

I know I have the telltale ‘rookie’ signs, of grease on my leg (see above) and a distinct lack of lycra.  Thankfully I do have a pretty helmet that matches my bike, as well as very nice clippy shoes, but that doesn’t really make up for my ‘rabbit hopping’ up and down on the bike when I start trying to pump my legs extra hard.  Apparently the pros pump the legs and not the neck, but for some reason as a newbie I find bobbing my head up and down in time with my legs makes me go quicker.  I’m trying to stop this; the more time I spend on my bike, the more I will improve.

Conversely, the more time I spend on my bike, the more likely two ‘not-so-good things’ become.  The first is that I will get an extremely sore bottom, lose the dare set by The Other Lauren and buy some cycling shorts.  The second is that I will fall off the bike.

Apparently this morning, the Triathlon Gods decided that I had spent enough time on the bike to warrant the ‘Likelihood of Things’ to become 100% guaranteed. Continue reading

Cycling On The Road

Arriving home

Arriving home after Friday’s ride. Not dead.

One of the ways in which my brain has changed since commencing triathlon training is that when driving along roads I am constantly assessing them for bike-ability.  I watch how narrow the bit on the side of the road gets, I create imaginary routes around dodgy-looking sections, I ‘tut’ like an old woman at the rubbish strewn across bike lanes, and of course most importantly I take mental notes of where there are coffee shops that I might stop and refuel at.

I have also been paying much more attention to other cyclists I see on the road – how are they going to navigate that treacherous-looking intersection?  How do they go right at a roundabout? How do they know where to park themselves at the lights?

In my head I have asked these cyclists so many unheard questions that I think I have come up with their unheard answer by myself. Continue reading

My Wallet Hates Triathlon

internet shopping

Goodies bought on the internet, delivered by the postman

So far, my favourite thing about triathlon is the shopping.  Even buying a hideous lycra suit has been a joyous experience, particularly in comparison to my futile attempts to improve the triathlon vehicle I am building (that is, my body).

Subscribers to this blog may remember that I mentioned a few weeks back that Google had lied to me insofar as it promised me that having a functioning human body and being prepared to spend 50 bucks on a triathlon entry fee were all the attributes I needed to qualify myself as a bona-fide triathlete.  If you missed it, I proved this to be Google-branded lies and deception here, here and here (well, everywhere really)

Unfortunately today it is my sad duty to inform you that another great lie is circulating on Google regarding triathlons.  Continue reading

A New Helmet

New helmet

Happy Birthday to me!

I’ve been banned from cycling in social groups until I get some lycra, a punishment I have accepted with gusto because if ever there was a triathlon challenge that I knew I could conquer, it is the shopping challenge.

However, all purchases need to be factored into the household budget with a little bit of care, as it’s not very fair to expect the rest of the family to stop eating so that I can buy a new cycling jersey this week.  So, I am trying to maintain my philosophy of approaching triathlon with a level of commitment that is ‘within reason‘ and spread my spending out. Continue reading

Banned From Social Cycling

cycling get-up

My current cycling get-up

In attempting to do my very first triathlon, I am not expecting to really ‘fit in’ with the usual triathlete mob.  I currently have no intention of joining a triathlon club or anything like that.  I am not the right size, shape, level of ability, level of dedication… And I like training at my own pace and doing my own thing anyway, so being a lone wolf suits me quite well.

However, as I proudly announce to people that I am now the owner of a road bike, I am surprised by the number of offers I get to go on training rides with other riders.  I get the impression that it is ‘the done thing’ in cycling world; you go on rides, next to each other.  I can only assume that there is a national shortage of willing participants if they are asking me to tag along – I mean, some of these fools have read this blog; they know what they’re dealing with.
Continue reading

A Change of Plan

Salad or Pizza?

If you plan on having salad, be prepared to change your mind

You know when you go to a fancy restaurant and you tell yourself that you are going to choose a nice, healthy salad for your main course… but as soon as you see the menu you have an epiphany, that actually your whole life up to this point has been meticulously planned by some Higher Power to lead straight to a delicious wood-fired pizza with a large side of chips?

Yeah, well that kind of ‘change of plan’ is exactly what just happened to me.
Continue reading