Growing up, I did a lot of bike riding. First as a passenger and then on my own with family. From the short rides around town to the long ones on the Prairie Path, a tremendous amount of miles were riden. After the first fall or tow as I road around the block at 5 or 6, things were pretty smooth sailing. I say pretty smooth, because those 30 or 45 degree up and downs that are somewhere in Wheaton are no joke.
Somewhere in my early teens, the riding dramatically dropped off. It returned in full force about 2 years ago when I got on the tandem with Terri. Even having rode for years, this truly was starting over. You get used to being in full control and just having to worry about your own balance on an upright bike. But with a tandem you not only have to worry about what you’re doing but what the other person is and making sure you’re both in synch. But once you get used to it and get going, it works well.
After two years of training and racing, I was comfortable on the tandem. With the exception of a couple flat incidents and the frustrating mount session, it’s gone pretty well. But you can’t just stay in your comfort zone. If you do, then you’ll plateau and never move forward. So I’m starting over — again. This time it’s with bike shoes and clipping into pedals.
I’ve been working with the tandem (Erik) on an indoor trainer for about 10 days. The first session was a disaster to say the least. I didn’t fall or hurt myself; but it was a mess clipping in/out. During that first session, I think I perspired more from the frustration and stress than anything else. Since that first workout, it’s gotten a little easier and easier with each. There are two different struggles at this point:
1) Since I can’t see the clip holes, trying to get my feet used to properly flipping and clipping in in a single motion. While it’s easy to bring the pedal up to the top and then clip in, that’s not a reality outside of the trainer. That lack of balance will just lead to too many issues.
2) Learning to vent frustration when I miss the clips in G language. In my home, on the trainer, the frustration comes out in profanity. I know that’s not going to fly out in public or in a race. Expecially since I could get tagged with a course violation for it.
There have been baby steps forward on both, and I will continue to work on it. In today’s workout, I was able to reclip as normal one out of 12 times. I know it’ll get better — it just takes more practice.