Besting the Bike

For some reason, I have been avoiding my outdoor bike rides lately. Today was the fourth time this year that I’ve ridden Jorge (my bike) outside. And I almost didn’t go.

My plan was to ride my bike to Sauvie Island (6ish miles), do the 12 mile loop on Sauvie, and then ride home, for a total of 24ish miles. But I was scared. Because that involves riding across a big bridge with no bike line and a lot of trucks.

And then, it involves riding on a HIGHWAY with more trucks, and other fast moving vehicles.

The Sauvie section is nice – less traffic, but then I have to ride up, up, up a big hill, to ride back over the big bridge with no bike lane and big trucks.

It’s probably best that I didn’t wear my heart rate monitor. The first two miles, which took me 12 minutes, my heart was beating about 1,000 beats/minute. I get so nervous riding across the big bridge with no bike lane and fast trucks. I was sweating and breathing hard and trying so hard to relax.

I made it, though, and the rest of the ride to Sauvie, and on Sauvie was great. I averaged between 14-15 mph on that 15 miles.

However, as soon as I left the island, I noticed a bunch of cars on the highway that were stopped. I assumed car accident, and rode cautiously by, hoping that no one would run over me, since the bike lane & one of the two east bound lanes were closed. As I rode by, I noticed that it was not a car accident. Or, at least, not JUST a car accident. There was a cyclist on the side of the road. His bike looked mangled. His helmet looked mangled. His face – also mangled. There was so much blood, people. So much blood. He was conscious and sitting up, and there were about 50 people already stopped to help him (and the ambulance on the way), so I didn’t stop to gawk. But I felt so nervous and nauseated. I almost rode to Linnton and called the architect to come pick me up. It was so awful. And so much blood.

However, I made it back safely. I dropped my chain at the bottom of the big hill back up to the bridge, but after I rechained, I rode up the hill – and it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

I rode an extra mile or so, to bring it out to 25 miles. I did the whole ride in 1:56:13. I didn’t once shut off the Garmin, so that includes the time I took to rechain, and all stop lights. The overall average was 13 mph. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but most of my uninterrupted miles were 14 mph+, so I think that if I keep at it, I’ll be in pretty good shape for my upcoming triathlon.

I just hope that guy is okay – and just want to remind all you cyclists to be safe! You look so much better with your faces on.