This month I finally got down to doing some real training rides…Last weekend I brought my own bike back to California with me from a return visit to my hometown of Toronto, Canada…before I was using a donor bike until I was able to bring over my own and it was way to big for me and uncomfortable to ride as a result so I pretty much avoided training as much as possible…now that I have my own bike here with me I started training full force last Wednesday!!

I had met a nice guy on the ALC forums looking for a training partner Wednesday mornings at 7am who lived in my area!! So of course I contacted him and we had our first ride together last Wednesday morning! I haven’t gotten up early since September and it was a pretty big accomplishment for me and a big step in responsibility for those who know me well!! So this is my first time on the bike since August of last year and it felt great to be back on it and in my riding gear!! We met up at 7am on the corner of La Cienega and Wilshire just down the street from my apartment and set off for an hour ride around Beverly Hills!!! It was a great ride there were minor inclines nothing to serious that I couldn’t handle and we went over some traffic riding to get used to the roads as well as residential roads so we can ride side by side and do the “getting to know you” thing…Overall the ride was great…felt good after made a new training friend and we will be riding every Wednesday morning and then some on the weekends until the ride in June where I am sure we will be riding together a few days because we are the same pace!

Later that day I was aiming to set out on a longer ride because I was itching to continue but didn’t want to ride alone..So I got a hold of a few people who might want to join me…the first person I contacted chickened out last minute when I mentioned another rider was going to join us!! So off Brian and I went (hes a ride leader for the official training rides this year!)….we decided to do a 20 mile ride I believe starting in Beverly Hills (we live in the same area as well) and heading over to the marina del rey bike path to the beach via culver city! So may I mention this is my first long training ride since I injured my leg in August!! so it was as big step for me and again I am very proud of myself..my goal this year is to not give up and stop to walk my bike up any climbs…no matter how long it takes me to get up I will get up ON MY BIKE!! So we head off and the way there is not to bad we had one small climb through culver and the roads were pretty flat until we got to the path which may I add was all ROLLING PATHS!!! it was death but I did it…took the climbs VERY SLOW and fought the urge to walk up them!! I think aside from the inclines I kept up a pretty good pace just slightly behind Brian who I am almost certain was slowing his pace for me!! awww..on the way back from our resting point and destination at the marina we stopped in culver for some eats..yumm..there was this woman who bought her dog greek ribs from the restaurant..it was ridiculous…hahah talk about spoiled! anyways, so we head back home and there was a major climb i was almost certain I couldn’t handle…but guess what..I DID IT!!!!! yeah me…so at the end of the ride Brian invited me to come out to the Saturday morning official ALC training ride which was 50-75 miles long in options…he said id have no problems handling it so I signed up!!

Come Saturday morning 6am may I add I am waking up and gearing up to set on my zillion mile official ride with 40 other ALC riders and 6 training leaders to keep an eye on everyone!! another early morning!! RESPONSIBILITY!! oh may I add that I declined to going to a st. patrick’s day party the night before so I could wake up in time..YES I KNOW!! ME DECLINE TO PARTY!!! who woulda thought!! anyways so Brian picks me up around 6:45 and we head to Balboa park, the starting point in the Valley…we set out to ride at about 7:30/8 I’m not sure I didn’t have a watch on me..but we set out and the first 12 miles are SIMPLE!!! all flat roads along the orange line bike path…we are all flying down the streets at a good pace…after the first rest stop we are introduced to small climbs which aren’t bad I’m not complaining yet..but let me tell you once we hit a certain mile mark IT WAS ALL UP HILL FROM THERE!!!! we flew down this one MOUNTAIN!! and I’m thinking to myself OMG we have to ride UP THAT one the way back!!! the rest of the roads for about 15 miles was all climbs it was death times two…one thing I CANNOT do is CLIMBS..and these were hard ones..steep ones..like I was honestly ready to pick up my cell and call someone to come and pick me up and drive me and my bike home from where I was on the street haha..it was painful but rewarding because i refused to give in and give up..I met another few riders Patrick and Vincent who weren’t experienced on hills and were slower paced as well who would wait for me at the top of the hills so I wouldn’t fall behind and get lost..and it was always rewarding to reach the top and have them cheer me on!! So we make it to Westlake via calabasas on the never ending rolling hills! we have a short lunch break and head back…going back wasn’y as hard beause all the hills we climbed we went down on the way back..but the freakin mountain of a hill the 3-5 mile hill going down that was death to think about going up was killer…I was dreading the thought of it..and I had two ride leaders behind me cheering me up the whole time…I went so slow I was barely moving…and it was so painful I was swearing and screaming in pain the entire way up and screaming for Jesus to get me to the top!! I MADE IT and I didn’t give up…the ride leaders helped me learn some shifting secrets to help me handle climbs better and some clip in tips as well….I made it back to balboa against the headwinds and everything in one piece without giving in to giving up..THAT IS A REWARD IN ITSELF!! I am very proud of myself and I am going to continue to tackle crazy climbs so that I can conquer them with no problems and not fear approaching them during the ride..because those inclines ARE ACTUAL MOUNTAINS not little baby hills on gradual inclines…

So this week im planning on a ride tomorrow morning, Wednesday morning and afternoon and on Saturday I am doing another official ALC ride that is 50 miles long lead by Brian!! and the last weekend in the month I am taking on the challenge of my first official ALC CENTURY RIDE!!! stay tuned for daily training updates to join on my journey of over coming challenges and fears all for a great cause

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