100 Kilometres of Ineptitude – The Moreton Bay 100 Ride Report

happy bike rider

There were moments where I was not inept, such as when taking this photo with the beautiful ocean behind me. Nice shot.

Well, maybe I wasn’t inept for the entire 100km. Because I was on the bike, and if we have learned anything since I bought my road bike in October last year, it is that the Triathlon Gods have blessed me with ‘larger’ upper leg muscles. Big old lumps of muscles that are terrible for those really cute kick shorts they sell in Lorna Jane (because my muscles create the illusion that I am bursting out the bottom of them like the un-incredible hulk) but fantastic for cycling, thus giving me some kind of natural ability to pump myself along roads as though I have been doing so for years.

Frankly, I’d rather be able to cycle well than look good in kick shorts, so I am happy with this deal. The Tri Gods done good.

So yes, although I am mostly inept, and I signed myself up for a 100km bike ride (by the end of which yesterday I swore I would never get on a bike again) it wasn’t all bad. Here’s an overview: Continue reading

Your First Triathlon

Mum and me

Yes, she can.  So can you.

I feel like a bit of a fraudster, passing on my advice for ‘your first triathlon’.

I mean, I’ve done precisely one triathlon.

But if you’re looking for advice like I was/am, maybe learning from somebody who is as new as you is the best option.  When you’ve done a few, I imagine that certain things become obvious, and you might assume they’re obvious to everyone.

So this guide to ‘your first triathlon’ is for the real beginner, and the one who is Type-A, needing to know every detail they possibly can, including the obvious.  This is for you, my friend (although the rest of you may read if you want to)

I have split the post into sections, because it is long – there is a lot of information.  If you’re OK with some sections of your triathlon journey, you can skip the parts of this post that cover those sections.  I’ve also made a special page on my blog where this post will live permanently, if you need to refer back to it – here.

Let us begin. Continue reading

Soggy Mash

Wet

A bit wet.  IE Soggy.

Yesterday was Australia Day – a special public holiday here in Oz, when we passionately celebrate our beautiful land and the wonderful Aussie lifestyle, whilst simultaneously feeling guilty and ashamed of celebrating and partying on the anniversary of the first landing (aka the first invasion)

We are a complicated nation.  And we’re not super good at picking dates for national parties.

Anyway, once again the gym was shut for most of the day, opening only between 9 and 12. Before commencing triathlon, this would have meant either working out in the heat of the day or swapping my workout entirely for a simple walk with the dog.

Now that I can run and cycle, I no longer need four walls and equipment to get hot and sweaty! And I had an excellent plan. Continue reading

The Flat Tyre

flat tyre face

Sitting on the side of the road with a flat

After reading yesterday’s blog post (particularly if you read it in combination with any other post I’ve ever written) I’m surprised nobody emailed me with a first draft of today’s post written out, ready to use.

Because obviously, obviously, after attending a workshop on how to change a flat tyre and deciding that I don’t need to invest in a flat tyre repair kit just yet…

I got a flat tyre the very next morning. Continue reading

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

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 First Mash-Up

Mash

Mmm, sweet potato mash

I will admit to watching at least two episodes of the TV show Glee in my lifetime (but no more than that) and I was quite taken by their ‘mash-up’ songs.  Probably because a mash-up sounds so fun and well, gleeful.  Plus it makes me think of mashed potato which is the sixth main food-group in my own personal non-Government-endorsed eating pyramid (which looks more like a cylinder and also consists of vegetables, Chobani yoghurt, protein, porridge and sugar.  Maybe I will draw it and blog it one day)

And so it is with some excitement that today I bring you my first triathlon mash-up; that is, the first combination of two of the three sports I am attempting, mashed together into one glorious mess.  Continue reading