I got out on the bike this morning. I took a friend's advice and put the bike on the car rack and drove to an area I wanted to ride through. I looked on a bike-friendly route map of the general area and mentally planned my general route in advance. I decided that I wanted to go for about an hour, and I did ride just a bit more than an hour.
I enjoyed the ride - it was sunny and breezy, and there were tons of other cyclists out riding in the same area. I still don't really have the hang of shifting too well - I end up pumping really hard or whipping around when the terrain changes. I keep trying to learn this bike, but it may be more fancy than I can handle. I also almost fell off my bike at a stop sign. I was riding up to it, slowing down to a crawl, just so I wouldn't have to come to a complete stop, unclip my right foot, regain my balance, start pedaling and reclip my right foot. There was a car sitting at the stop sign, and it would not start going until I dismounted from the d*** bike. The driver's window was open, so I kept my choice opinions to myself, but I was awfully grouchy, once I got my right foot down and averted disaster.
I also noted that my rear tire was a bit more mashed down than I thought it should be, so I stopped and got the tire re-filled at a bike shop. I also stopped part-way through and sucked down a gel. I am highly skeptical that it is necessary to use these things at the distances I am training for. But at the tri meeting I went to, the teacher stressed the importance of nutrition, so I am trying out a bunch of different products to see if: 1) there are any that aren't really gross tasting (today was a fail on that count) and 2) they make a difference in how I feel or how far I can go. I was refreshed and encouraged to extend my ride after I ate the gel stuff, but I also downed a ton of crystal light exercise stuff, so I'm not sure who to give the props to.
I computed the distance I rode when I got home, and it was 10.32 miles! I was surprised by the distance, because I did not feel like it was a very good ride while I was doing it, and my heart rate never really increased above 150. But I feel like the tri distance is really within my grasp - I would like to work a bit on pace next. Perhaps hills are the answer. Boo.
I will continue to experiment with the smorgasbord of stuff I bought after the tri seminar throughout the rest of training, but I will also continue to research whether the body really needs more than proper hydration at the distances I'm doing. 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike anmd 3.1 mile run, as a reminder.