Saturday, June 25, 2016

Little Red, Little Red

Did you know I'm a biker?  I didn't know it myself until very recently when a new friend called up and invited me to ride in the Little Red bike ride with a group of ladies up in Logan, UT.

"You can bike for 50 miles, 75 miles, or 100 miles," she said.  "We usually do 75."  I liked the idea of it, but as I said in response to her invitation, "I don't really even know what biking 75 miles means..."  I'd never biked that far before and the closest I'd come to it was when I biked 12 miles in my sprint triathlon.  What would multiplying that by 6 even feel like?

But I had to decide right then because, apparently, the registration for the ride was due.  So I had no time to get on a bike and try it out before committing.  But really, how hard could it be?

I signed up, paid my fee, and started riding my bike - with Timothy strapped inside the trailer in back.  I rode to the schools and around the town. I rode to the grocery store and strapped milk in alongside Timothy.  I rode at night wearing a headlamp because I didn't have a bike light.  I rode alone, and I rode with friends, and by the time the ride came along, I was ready enough. I still hadn't ridden a full 75 miles in one go (who has time for that?!), but I had done a pretty rigorous 30ish miles and I had followed the guideline 'as long as you can bike the full distance of your race within one week then you'll at least be able to finish it.'

So I locked my bike up alongside some friends and hopped in the car to head to Logan.  We wore our Little Red shirts and laughed and talked the whole way up.  Halfway there in Beaver we stopped at a charming little restaurant called Patty's and had the most delicious sandwiches, smoothies and cookies the size of our heads. The menu was handwritten in chalk marker and the turquoise color popped alongside it's black and white decor.  In the bathroom stalls were happy little phrases cut out of vinyl that read you are beautiful!

Then back in the car we went while drinking the last of our smoothies.

That night we slept on mats in a friend of a friend's airplane hangar (really) that was finished and comfortable.  And the next morning:  Race Time!

The energy was palpable and so, so fun.

And once the ride started I couldn't help but keep clicking my phone out of it's home on my handlebars to snap pictures.  It was so, so beautiful.

There were little pit stops along the way for us to get some food and water, and each time I stopped it got harder and harder to get moving again.

But I did it!  I had so much fun and I would love to do it again. 75 miles ended up being the perfect length. My legs were so, so tired by the end that I'm not sure I could have ridden another mile. My body was completely exhausted - which was actually quite a new feeling for me.

And it felt so great.

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