Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tour de Ouch {Tuesday Tips}

Sunday marked a huge milestone for me -- I finally rode a bike again for the first time in many many years! And since being able to ride a bike is sort of a prerequisite for participating in a triathlon, this was a necessary step on my overall journey here.

Practicing on the sidewalk until I got less wobbly:

Posing with a smile. Glad I took this pic before my workout, because by the end I was not so smiley...

Steady enough to venture into the street!

So how did it go? Well, in a nutshell, it hurt! I can definitely see why triathletes have such amazing physiques -- each event works a completely different set of muscles! I already knew this was true of running and swimming, but I was surprised to discover aches in all kinds of brand-new places as I rode along on my bike. And then there is also the seat...is there any piece of athletic equipment LESS comfortable than a bicycle seat? Yikes!!

Here is where I need some tips: How can I make biking hurt less??? I am limited by a few significant factors:
1. Biking is my lowest priority for right now, behind running and swimming, so I'm not going to be investing much money or time into it just yet.
2. My bike is a random mountain bike that the previous owners of my house left behind when they moved. It's not ideal for my fitness goals, but it's just going to have to do for now, so any issues that could be solved by getting a better bike will have to be solved in other ways.

I'm interested in any sorts of stretches, yoga poses, or simple strength-training exercises that I could do throughout the week to better prepare my muscles for my weekend rides. I'm also REALLY interested in any suggestions for making the seat less painful. It hurt to sit upright all day yesterday, and I'm still a little sore today. And I only rode three miles my first time out. Someone suggested padded shorts...do they work? Are they the only solution? HELP!!!!!

I'll close with a pic of my almost-seven-year-old son totally showing me up on his bike. He learned to ride without training wheels this summer, and Sunday was the first day he attempted it on the concrete. He's a cautious kid and had only been riding in our yard thus far, so this was a big step for him. We shared our important milestones together, and it was fun! Also, he was WAY less wobbly than I was. :)

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