Project: Hillary the Cyclist Month 1

My first month of training is over and I... didn't completely tank. I managed to log 60km on my bike. I'm still getting used to riding in traffic but so far I love being on my bike. I used to enjoy running but the few times I tried to run this year I ended up in so much pain (am old) that I had to quit. Cycling gives me the same rush running once did, without the horrible knee pain. One of the side effects of a drug I have to take is joint pain, so it was difficult to motivate myself to run when I was already hurting. 

So! Cycling! How did I go from cycling rookie to riding a semi-respectable 60km in September? (Look, I realize that 60km in a month is no big thang but it is for me, right now. Okay? Let me have it.) I was lucky enough to connect with Cap's Krusty's Bicycles and was given both a sweet discount on a road bike and six hours of in-store training / general guidance with a cycling expert. 

Full disclosure: I went to high school with the owner's daughter. I am not obligated to write a glowing review about Cap's but I am going to write a glowing review because I was absolutely petrified of cycling before I first met with them, and now I'm someone who logged 60km (hold your applause, please) on her bike in one month. 

If you're thinking about getting into cycling, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you get help from a pro. I reached out to my high school friend's dad because I knew he knew his stuff. I had gone into a general sports store to see what was on the sale rack because I didn't want to put down a wad of cash on a bike and then find out I hate cycling. But here's the thing: if I had bought the fine-for-toodling-around-the-city bike the salesperson tried to sell me, I am confident that I would hate cycling. Maybe not at first, when my rides are admittedly just fun little jaunts, but I would definitely struggle to enjoy my longer rides if I was stuck with a bike not meant to carry someone for 100km+ rides.

I also recommend test driving multiple bikes. Different bikes will have different measurements and different feels. You want to end up with a bike that fits you, yes, but also feels good. I'm 5'8" but I have stubby little legs and a bizarrely long torso. It took a bit of finagling to find a bike that felt good for me. This is where the pro comes in handy. Barry was my pro. Barry is a genius. He measured my inseam and had me try different frame sizes. He made adjustments. He described different tweaks I could make to accommodate my long torso. Barry made me feel comfortable with the bike I chose, which gave me confidence before I even hit the road for my first ride. 

Cycling is not a cheap sport to pick up. But I'm so happy I spent a bit more to get the bike that will support me riding the distance I want to ride. I have no doubts about the bike I ended up with. It feels like the one sure thing in this whole crazy plan

Now let's hope we get some more sun in October so I can continue to ride on the road before the rainy season starts with a vengeance.