Training with Katrina

Rachel GilletteKids, Peak Pedalers 2018, Prep, Training

My first few attempts to ride a bike around our neighborhood and a local 15 mile loop ended up with a few falls and scrapes, but I kept going. Next challenge: riding around other people! Tour de Houston in March was 60 miles, my longest ride so far. It went really well! I swerved a bit at first, but I was able to ride much faster and straighter as we progressed along the route.

Fast forward a few weeks and training miles later – I wanted to step it up even more. Literally…real bike shoes! I wanted to click in for more power on those climbs in Colorado. I knew that this would be another learning curve, but I was ready to tackle the challenge. Also, I really liked the bright pink shoes at our bike store!

A few more falls (sigh…) while figuring out how to unclip properly, but I think I’ve got it now! We did a 65 mile organized ride in Alvin, TX next and I beat my mom on the (one) hill we had. Need more climb training! We are doing a workout routine of squats and lunges to prepare since the terrain is so flat here. We also ride often to our only local “hill” – the Kemah bridge – and do repeats.

This past week, I had a ton for studying for the AP US History test, so I didn’t have a lot of time to train for RTR. Then on the weekend, we drove few hours away to get those climbs in. My mom and I did the Rolling Hills Challenge, 80 miles in Columbus, TX – it was tough! After 50 miles, I was so exhausted that I had to distract myself from my tiredness in order to push through the remaining 30 miles. There was about 2900 feet elevation gain throughout the entire ride, which made it even more challenging!

Along the ride I saw some pretty views, going across historic truss bridges (over the Colorado River!) and tree-lined roads that made a canopy. I also saw some not as pretty sights, like dead snakes cut in half, part of what I think was a horse leg, and other dreadful things to avoid on the road. Good thing my bike handling skills have improved! A great part of this ride is that it was sponsored by a doughnut shop, so I ate them at some of the rest stops. A great burst of sugar and energy! I also liked that most of the roads did not have many cars on them. Overall, I really liked this ride and I would like to do more like this one. I think now that I know what to expect with longer distances and climbing, my mental energy and attitude will match better with my physical endurance. RTR is less than a month away – I am so excited!!

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