I have only had my bike a little over a month now, and usually ride only 2 miles once or twice a week to commute home from work on the weekends. I did ride 6 miles one day, and felt pretty good. Today was my day off, and my best friend/roommate wanted to take her trike (A Tristar) to the LBS and get a tune up. Well, that meant a 16 mile round trip. She can't put it on the city bus rack because of it being a 3 wheeler, so I told her I would go with her on my bike.
I can only pedal with my left leg due to an auto accident in 1998 which is why I don't ride too far usually, but I figured, I could take my time, and if it got to be too much, I could just put my bike on the bus rack and finish up that way. My friend has been riding since last year, and works out at the gym, so she is in much better shape than I am, not too mention she is 27, 5 foot tall, and weighs in at 120 pounds dripping wet. I on the other hand, am 6 foot tall, 51 years old, and weigh in at 274 lbs. (up from 269)
Anyway, we left our apartment at 10:49 this morning, and about a 3rd of the way there, I noticed my front tire getting spongy. Sure enough, I had a flat. I was totally unprepared for that. My spare tube was back home and I have no bike pump. I had planned on buying accessories a little at a time as the funds permitted, and was going to get a small bag to hang below my seat and put in a tube, and tire irons, and tire gauge. That has not happened yet, so I was kicking myself for not being prepared.
Lucky for me, it was a slow leak, so I just aired it up at a gas station, and continued on. The rest of the trip down was un-eventful, only having to stop one more time to air up the tire at another gas station, which as it turned out was only about a block or two from the LBS (Herb Bauer).
She had her trike tuned up, and I have them install a puncture resistant tube in mine. It takes all of about 10 minutes (no other customers were in the store at the time) so we were on the road again. I had taken a water bottle with me, as did my friend (she took several) so we stayed hydrated for the trip, but we were both getting tired, and she had not eaten anything before the trip, so we stopped at a local Mc Donalds and had lunch. Fish for me, and chicken for her.
On the way back we were fighting a small headwind, and we were tired from our journey so it was slower going. I got to within 3 miles of home, and had to stop. My knees were sore (especially the left one) and I was getting hungry again. I guess one fish sandwich is not enough to cover all the riding I had done.
She needed to stop by the bank, and then go to a store, so I let her do that and I just waited for the bus to show up. I ended up getting home about 4:20 pm and she came in about a half hour later. One thing we both had forgotten about was Sunblock! We both look like a couple of lobsters now, she worse than I as she wore a top that exposed her shoulders, and I wore a bright orange T-shirt. Since I did not wear a hat under my helmet I now have some pink lines on my head where the vents let in the sunlight It does not hurt, but sure looks funny.
We are both a little sore, but for me it is not that bad except for my knees. However, I am feeling pretty good after my first long ride, and even though it doesn't sound like much compared to all the centuries, and double centuries you old pros do, I still feel that I have accomplished something, and even learned a thing or two for my next bike adventure.