Prepping for Le Tour

I rode out towards Winters about 8 a.m. The sun was shining and the farmers were already plowing and planting transplants. A welcome site in this drought. A red wing blackbird perched on the fence sang in full song as I whizzed by on my new bike, yes NEW road bike. I quietly passed wild turkeys grazing along the side of the trail as the spring sunshine caught the beautiful colors on their feathers. My new Trek Lexa is super fun to ride.

Trek Lexa S in Platinum

Trek Lexa S in Platinum

I bought the bike from Joe at the Freewheeler Bicycle shop in Davis. He did a superb job fitting the bike to me and his colleague helped me learn to use the clipless pedals on the trainer when I picked up the bike. They adjusted the pedals so they are easy to clip in and out. I am still nervous about all of my bike handling skills and gaining confidence with every kilometer.

I am 10 weeks away from my departure for Le Tour de France. I am using Bicycling magazine’s Simple Plan to get in shape. The Simple Plan is a six week training plan by Selene Yeager and Leslie Bonci. It is living up to its name and it pushes me on my gear shifting skills.

In March I set a goal of riding every day for 30 minutes. It was an achievable goal and it motivated me to take Black Beauty to Seattle so I could keep riding. At the end of the 30 days I felt much stronger and comfortable on my bike. I made the pledge to ride everyday in April with the 30DaysofBiking. So 3 days a week I do an interval training ride and the other days I ride to commute or to relax.

Davis Adult School offered a bike repair class and conversational French class–both on Tuesday evenings. I decided that knowing how to repair my bike would be a useful skill for the long haul and not just this summer. We work on our bikes at the workshop at Martin Luther King Continuation High School. I had to laugh though, when I told one of the women who is an accomplished bike mechanic why I wanted to take the class she laughed and said, “You don’t need to know how to change a tire. The ratio of men to women in cycling is so great that all you have to do is wait by the side of the road and someone will fix it for you.” Hmmm. Not my style. Then I met a woman from Montreal who speaks fluent French and she said, “Well you can’t really learn much French in 10 weeks.” All I can say is Theo, our instuctor is a great teacher and I am enjoying the class.

People in my class are fascinated by my Brompton foldable bike. As soon as I am done overhauling Gidget (my beach cruiser) I will watch some more videos on the Brompton website and take it in and practice changing tires and other repairs. I found a great bike shop in San Francisco, Huckleberry Bicycles, that carries Brompton Bikes and parts.

It is getting real.

 

2 thoughts on “Prepping for Le Tour

  1. Thanks. Think I’ll name her Trixie. Her “sisters” include Trixie Belden, girl detective, and Trixie from Speed Racer. The pedals are turning out to be a non-issue. (whew!)

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