#14 - ride in the Tour de Brooklyn, Tour de Queens or a century ride, since my first century resulted with me in the ER.
Ever since my cycling accident in September 2008, I have been terrified of riding my bike - my road bike that is. Put me on my hybrid and I can zip through Astoria quite nicely, and I even ride it out all the way to Long Island City for free yoga on the pier (mostly on the bike paths of course). Add the prospect of clipless pedals and I am even more freaked out.
Or was, actually. Through my job, I was able to register for the Tour de Queens for free and even at the last minute - the whole thing slipped my mind (I really should keep my list on my iPhone). The Aussie went with me.
I even insisted that I ride with my clipless pedals (I use the Keo Pedals by Look for now, if anyone is curious. I was having problems with the Speedplays so my bike mechanic - aka The Aussie - swapped them until I get the hang of the clipless pedals, but I like these alot).
The Aussie insisted that I use the regular pedals, but I needed this ride to put me back on the bike and get over my fear of a) riding in crowds b) riding my road bike in NYC and c) riding with my clipless pedals.
All in all the Tour de Queens as a ride in and of itself, was....ok. I wouldn't do it again. It's billed as a "family friendly" ride but there were still some speedster show-offs, alot of bottlenecking because at some points, the Tour took us through narrow residential streets and there were alot of stopping and starting. But with all of that I did not crash once or trip over my bike. That was The Aussie's biggest concern with me going on my clipless pedals for only the second time. Granted, I still can't really push off on an angle and then go into the crowd (I need to push off straight into the flow of traffic), I still need a little bit of room to push off and I can't push off on an incline but I am still figuring it out. And want to ride again, and again.
The bones in my derriere were sore all this week and my shoulder blades were all achy (I couldn't ride in the proper road bike position because I constantly needed to keep my head up due to the crowds), but I realized how much I missed right proper going at 30mph road cycling. Next year, I'll aim for the NYC Century or the Five Boro Bike Tour.
I also got something else out of the Tour - a cycling pants/jersey/glove tan.