Must be getting serious…

…if I’m willing to spend $60 on a pair of bike gloves (and that was after the super-nice Ben from BSC in the QV knocked ten bucks off). It was money I was nominally keeping to buy a new pair of tyres but still…

Mmm… squishy!
my new bike gloves

I’ve done a few rides now and I’ve been having some pain issues with my hands and elbows. My old gloves have a very annoying seam that pushes hard into the pad of skin between my thumb and fingers. I have some really deep calluses forming on both hands that actually resemble blisters and it bloody hurts! I also think I’m unintentionally over-compensating for my hands and holding my arms more rigidly which is killing my elbows. I know it sounds weird but the pain only started after I commenced the 2+ hour rides. I thought it was my position on the bike but I asked at the bike shop today and apparently aching elbows are not a common complaint due to poor positioning.

I was a little doubtful about the positioning thing anyway because nothing else was hurting. If it was positioning, I should’ve been experiencing the elbow pain even in my short commutes to work. My hands did hurt when I was just doing my daily commutes but it’s gotten far worse now I’m riding for longer. I’m hoping new gloves will help.

Still, that’s not stopping me from contemplating going to see someone about my bike fit. I have very little power from a standing start and get overtaken by little old ladies wobbling their way across intersections on bikes that are too big for them. It’s embarrassing! Once I get going, I’m fine. It’s the getting going that’s letting me down. But that might be because I still need more practice with my shoes. 85% of the time I get clipped in straight away but the other 15% I’m kicking the peddle over, my foot goes flying forward or I simply can’t clip in. If I ever have a spare $150 lying around, I’m sure it’ll be a good investment to see a fit specialist but I’m doubtful I ever have $150 lying about. Not when I need new tyres and want a new helmet.

I have achieved something though. Yesterday I did my first 50+km ride (52.64kms) and had my first experience of Beach Road. The plan was to ride to Black Rock but it turned out the road was closed in Brighton. So I didn’t really get to ride on Beach Road because it doesn’t actually start until Hampton and I don’t think we got that far. Oh well, it was still an experience. I don’t think I’ve been overtaken by so many lycra clad men in my life. On the way back, four guys latched onto us and a mini bunch formed. My first ever! My riding partner and I led the group for about five kms when he told me to drop off the front and let someone else do some work. I’ve never had to do it before so I really had no idea what I was doing. I had problems latching onto the guy in front of me. I couldn’t work out his cadence and his bike creaked with every revolution which was hugely distracting. Yup, my bunch riding definitely needs work. If I’m honest, I need to develop more power because only reason I could keep up with them was the rather brisk headwind. I also think they were taking it easy or on a recovery ride. But what can you do? Everyone has to start somewhere!

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