On Friday, inspired by my new outfit from Fresh Air and because it seems road biking is the thing to do in Ottawa; I headed out for a ride. I biked for over four hours around Ottawa to Gatineau Park and up to Champlain Lookout. For the seasoned or even the average biker this may not seem like much but I have a long history that yo-yo’s between enjoying biking and strongly disliking it.
To start at the beginning of my road biking ‘career’ you would have to start in grade nine. I had just joined Team Hardwood and found out that many of the girls on the team mountain or road biked for training. I did not particularly like biking and the only bike I owned was a rusty bike that I had bought in the fifth grade. I listened all summer to the girls talk excitedly about biking so finally I decided to go out for a ride. I got about an hour an a half from my house and my legs were dead. A biker then stopped and told me kindly that my seat was too low. He put my fifth grade bike seat up to the max and I carried on having a much more enjoyable ride! I started to bike to school and in my four years of high school I only missed 12 days (needless to say I went through many bikes with salt and snow damage).
In grade 10 I bought a road bike. On my first ride I headed out for four hours over hilly terrain and had a great time but was almost bedridden the next day. I then started to take it slow going out for hour and a half rides and increasing it to two hours. In grade 12 I had some unfortunate back troubles that stopped me from biking for a year. After that I had a few unpleasant rides with back pain and bad drivers so took up my old belief that biking was not for me and that I should stick to roller skiing. I started mountain biking last year (4th year university) and loved it, but, I never really road biked again until May of this year. I headed out for a two hour bike ride around Oro Medonte. The ride was mainly flat and re-confirmed my beliefs that I should stick to roller skiing.
So on Friday when inspiration struck to go for my first ‘real’ road bike in almost three years it had the potential to go very wrong, but when I made it to the top of Champlain lookout and announced to the guy at the top that “I made it!” I was quite happy.
The ride home was another story although I love racing down the same hills on my roller skis with no brakes I was terrified going down them on a bike. None the less, I made it all the way home with a few water and leg stretching stops! The next day riding to work I was a bit sore and was glad to be in a section of the department where there is less walking. I was fully recovered the next day and am looking forward to my next ride which I’m sure will be eventful, hopefully enjoyable but probably not quite so long.