My goal today was to ride a 23-mile route that included two hills I thought/hoped I could do. Max did not do this trip. For the first time, I got out to ride in the mid-morning--I started riding before 10 AM. When I'm on the Idaho ride, I'll try to start about 8 each morning so I get the coolest weather possible for both Max and me. Today the wind was blowing about 10 to 15 MPH, and did I mention previously how I dislike riding in the wind--it always seems to blow harder in your face than it does on your back.
I made the full ride, and made it up the second hill--Josh Wilson Road coming out of Bayview. For the first time, I used first gear, and that made a big difference. I had not used it before because I was sure I would go so slowly I'd be a hazard wobbling around. That was not the case, and while I was working hard, it felt great to actually do a hill. I could have made the first hill, too, but got half way up in 2nd gear and figured I could not make it, so I dismounted. If I were to do it again in 1st gear, I'm confident I could do it.
A couple of bike notes. When I shifted into 1st gear to do the hill, the chain jumped off the sprocket. I thought I was sunk, but figured out how to put the chain back on and kept riding. I also had more instances of the gear slippage I described previously, but in talking with another biker about it, I found that I probably was not shifting correctly. I adjusted how I shifted, and it seemed to help. Tomorrow I'm enrolled in a Bike Maintenance 201 course at REI Bellingham, so I'll learn how to make some mechanical adjustments.
I feel really good about my stamina and endurance after today's ride, but I did experience some tenderness in the left groin. I slowed down my pedaling, and that helped. Rather than chance pulling a muscle or some other such injury, I'm going to take tomorrow off to rest my leg. We'll see how it feels on Monday.