Archive for December, 2012

Rough Day for a Beginner Road Biker

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

When I first started inline skating, I was uncoordinated and erratic on those eight little wheels for a long time. But I was motivated enough to be patient. I remember it took about 20 hours of skating 2-3 times a week before I felt like I didn’t look like a geek, but only as long as I was just moving forward and making wide turns. Learning to stop? That was another 9 months later.

So this bike thing? I’m a lot like a novice inline skater who decided to start out on speed skates instead of entry-level recreational skates.

No hybrid starter bike for me!

Now that I’ve got my new high-end road bike (at my request, mind you), I am hoping 20 hours will be enough! I definitely lack coordination and confidence. It doesn’t help that I’m using clipless bindings, which actually means I am attached to the pedals. That’s not easy to get used to, especially when you forget you’re locked on when rolling up to a stop sign. At least the nice bike shop man put them on the easiest release setting for me.



On Sunday I was practicing riding around my neighborhood. I felt pretty good when I survived my stop sign pedal mishap unscathed, though I had to drop the bike and leap away.

We have a nice loop featuring a short steep hill, four corners and a long, gradual descent. It’s a piece of cake on my inline skates in either direction. What got me in trouble was when I left the loop and thought I was ready to stick out my arm to make a turn signal. Wham, bam!! My crash involved many body parts! Now I need a new helmet — but I think my hip and limbs will heal just fine.

Screen capture of facebook comments

My Facebook friends are so helpful! Andrea and Michael are talking about rollerblading, by the way.

My Facebook pals gave me some pretty funny feedback when I posted the above photo. Meanwhile, I’m a third of the way  through Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling.

Of course reading is not going to give me the skills and confidence I’ll get from 20 hours of riding.

No more turn signals for the near future though!

My New Racing Bike

Friday, December 28th, 2012

The gift I received on my 61st Christmas was no surprise.

Trek Domane 4.5W bike

Trek Domane 4.5 (ladies) under my Christmas tree

Indeed, I’d agonized over the decision to add road biking to my already long list of recreational interests. But after weeks of weighing the pros and cons, I decided that once I get used to biking in the real world (as opposed to in Spin classes), the fitness animal Liz will obliterate the timid analytical Liz.

However, I am humoring the analytical Liz. Along with the bike, I also requested books geared toward beginning road cyclists. My brother Don came through with two gems and a clunker whose book title is pretty darned close to my own book about skating: “A Beginner’s Guide to Biking.”  Thanks to holiday vacation time to read about and obsess over my new sport, I can strongly recommend both of these:

Since I’m already physically in shape thanks to Spinning, my initial goals are to learn the bike parts names and get used to speed, fast cornering and instinctively getting my foot out of the clipless bindings when stopping.

Knowing me, there will be endorphin-triggered revelations I’ll want to share in this blog. Building skills one step at a time helped me learn to ski the black diamond runs. Articulating what I learned when I took up inline skating resulted in a book. I’m pretty sure my perspectives on becoming a road biker will not be book-worthy, but they might be entertaining, so stay tuned!

And by the way, I am still a skater, though not rolling as frequently as I once was. I am passionate about promoting safer braking technologies and I continue to sell Get Rolling the Beginner’s Guide to Inline Skating all over the world.