Why I’m going on an all-women’s ride

by singlemomseeking on March 31, 2011

In order to prepare myself for my first-ever (steep!) century bike ride, I’ve been cycling on weekends with my man (in between the rain here, anyway). Here’s what a typical afternoon ride looks like:

Huff. Huff. That’s me breathing as I pump up any one of the Bay Area hills.

“All right love!” TP says from behind me. (He says that he prefers to ride behind me so he can go at my pace. All right guys, is that the real reason?)

I’m new at cycling — so I go much slower than him, and I try not to get down on myself about that. TP has been cycling for a decade, and after most solo rides, he returns with stories about racing guys up the hill and beating them.

As we reach the summit on a recent afternoon, I look up and take in the incredible view of the San Francisco bay, with its wispy clouds on the horizon. I’m beaming: sunshine and fresh air, mixed with a good work out, make me happy.

“Now, are you ready to push?” a deep voice says from behind me.

Huh? I snap myself back from my sunshine fantasy.

“It’s time to really take it up another notch,” my man says, riding alongside me now, sweat trickling down his face.

I know that he means well. But the way that he pushes up a hill… isn’t the same way I do it. I enjoy the journey of getting up the hill. Yes, I like to push myself, but I’m not focused on speed. He, on the other hand, is an aggressive cyclist who loves the thrill getting a better time.

So, when a girlfriend recently asked me if I wanted to join her on the Cinderella Ride this weekend — 65 miles, mostly flat, with moderate hills in the Bay Area — I said, “Yeah!”

When I got the registration form, I smiled at the rule in all caps:
“WOMEN AND GIRLS ONLY! NO MALE RIDERS!”

So, what’s YOUR strategy for getting up a steep hill — even a metaphorical one?


How do you push yourself?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

T March 31, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Hahahaha! I LOVE this post so much! I’m still so excited that you’re doing this!

I really enjoy all women events… because really, aren’t we hard enough on ourselves? Most of the time, the reason men are athletes and the reason women are athletes are on opposite ends of the spectrum totally! Interestingly enough though, the first triathlon I did was all women. When I did the next one, a co-ed tri, the men were so helpful to me. For my first tri, it was EVERY WOMAN FOR HERSELF! The men were more about encouraging me. (Funny, it seems that way in other areas of my life too.)

Also, just about every single athlete or triathlete I’ve ever met are so kind-hearted and generous. You’ll be a perfect fit!

How do I push up a hill? Slowly. With intention. Using my yoga breaths. Relaxing into each pedal stroke. Affirming to myself that I CAN do it.

And yup, that’s how I handle big hills in life too. :)

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Kevin April 1, 2011 at 9:50 am

Have a good ride… Remember to breathe in and out.

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Sassy Single Mom April 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Good for you for attempting such a feat! (Did I spell that right?!? lol)

Hhmm… how do I get up a steep hill in life … I think I write out my intention and purpose and memorize it. I surround myself with a cheering section and try to keep a list handy with of all of the traits I have that will help me accomplish what I am setting out to do.

“I think I can, I think I can …” LOL A little bit of faith in God, belief in myself and trust that all things will work for my highest good. :)

Good luck and keep us posted! ;)

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Memoirs of a Single Dad April 4, 2011 at 6:18 am

Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun! Bike season is almost to a close here in Florida – getting too hot.

And to answer your question, “No” his reason for riding behind you is not entirely to keep the pace. Ahem.

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Attainingme April 4, 2011 at 8:58 am

Love this! So jealous that I am not in the bay area as this sounds amazing. I also love how you and your man ride together and that he introduced you to it.

Taking it up a notch – In all endeavors, both physical and mental, music of the mind. Breathe. Hitting that cadence where your mind is producing different chemicals and your able to go above and beyond

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