I haven't ridden for a few weeks and, at that time, didn't go much further than a few blocks out of our neighborhood. Meanwhile I have been walking on the treadmill and at work, doing bursts of intensity and many stairs, so I felt ready when Hubby said "I feel like going for a bike ride, wanna go?".
We rode to a trail that begins about 5 miles from our house. Much of the trip on the way to the trail was uphill and I had to stop only once. In all, the entire ride was about 11.5 miles.
Here's what I learned on my first long ride:
1. I need a new saddle. The wide comfy one that came with the bike is fine for around the neighborhood, but not for a longer ride.
2. I know how to use BOTH shifters now, and when. That was my #1 fear when I began.
3. My first fall wasn't nearly as embarrassing as I feared. I had too many other thoughts going through my head: "Oh noooooo!..... My first fall!...... Watch your hand!...... How bad is this gonna be?...... Uh oh, my knee.......How's my bike?......" Turns out, I have only a superficial scrape on my kneecap (I was wearing jeans).
4. Consistent, regular exercise really does pay off. My clothes fit better, I feel better, and my endurance is improving. My legs didn't feel like they were going to fall off as I expected. I began this day feeling down in the dumps, and now I feel on top of the world. When you feel depressed, one of the worst things you can do is give in to it and sulk around the house. Get outside in the sunshine and go for a ride -- just do it.
5. We need to get a small wrench for our tool kit. We came upon a couple with a twisted chain (???). Hubby did his best to try and fix it, but it was too far gone. A wrench would have enabled us to remove the wheel and untwist the chain. This leads me to #6.....
6. Keep some wet wipes in the pack. They'll come in handy for wiping the grease off your hands before putting your gloves back on.