Apparently, when you randomly offer to help a guy without a sewing machine hem his pants, and then go out for beers with said guy and his best friend, you can also end up with a friend that 1) rides bikes [duh], 2) lives about three blocks away from you, and 3) encourages following through on
bad questionable ideas like training for a fixed century.
Pete - my new friend/riding partner/coach/ass kicker - and I planned to head out on my very first training ride yesterday...for the past week or so. Since Pete has work from noon [at Cambridge Bikes], we decided on an early morning ride [hence the Diet Coke last night]; there was some rain coming down, but it was more like mist. Weather.com predicted "showers." I was optimistic.
After Pete adjusted his cleats, we headed out. The first few miles were fine, a little wet but I figured I'd be sweating buckets soon anyway. Speeding down Comm Ave, dodging runners training for the marathon, we made an interesting combo: Pete likes to climb hills in his saddle, with his hands on the top of the bars; cool, relaxed, and gentlemanly. I like to get out of the saddle but stay in the drops, like a faux keirin racer if they had to do things like climb hills. We pedaled down toward Newton, then through Watertown and Cambridge, taking the loooooong way.
Too bad it started pouring. By the time we hit Harvard Square about an hour and a half later, both of us were drenched and cold. Stopped at a light, I made a fist with my gloved hand and water gushed out. I wasn't wearing anything close to waterproof ["water resistant" apparently means "drenched within 5 miles of riding"]. Pete couldn't feel his hands. I couldn't feel my feet. So, we made a much-needed stop for coffee.
Sipping deliciously caffeinated beverages, we sort of managed to dry off. Our gloves were beyond hopelessly drenched. My underarmour leggings stuck to me like icy saran wrap [without the water-weight-reducing-sauna-like
effects benefits]. Not only was I soaked, I was also covered in bits of dirt. My hair drenched in streaks from my helmet, worn out from battling rain and wind, with no eyeliner on, I was a total mess. Good thing there were no mirrors around - ignorance is bliss in this case.
We wrung out our gloves, even though no matter how hard we twisted them, more water just poured out. And then we actually got back on our bikes and waded through more cold rain and wind towards home, with only the thought of hot showers keeping us going. I could barely get off my bike when we parted ways - my feet being numbly frozen. Our high-five to celebrate a ride successfully completed squishly sprayed water. Not that it mattered; we were so saturated with Boston rain water, we were both verging on prune-y.
It wasn't a fast ride; but it was the first time I've ridden more than an hour on my bike. I know, not impressive, but baby steps, baby steps! And besides, Pete and I both decided - no matter what, riding through that mess definitely makes us officially hardcore.
I irrationally can't wait for next Sunday morning...