Let’s say you are a family girl (or guy) and have put a few events on your ride calendar – paid the fees and are making plans with your friends to slay some epic rides. You’ve been really looking forward to these rides.
But a last-minute change to your significant other’s plans means to go on one of the rides you’d have to leave your kids without adult supervision for the better part of a day. They’re good kids for sure – you have no doubts of their abilities to just chill for a day – but should (g-d forbid) anything happen, you’d be a state or two away until your significant other got home.
Friends, it was only last summer that I took the bold move of heading out on my bicycle sans-unders. For guys this may have been a no-brainer but for girls, it seems to be more of a concern to be out and about without proper undergarments.
Since then I have stuck to the first brand I purchased, which was also the only brand that the local bike shop had in stock that didn’t make me feel more than slightly awkward plunking down in front of the guy at the counter.
When I was preparing for the Elephant Rock Ride in Colorado, the shop had trial sizes of my usual brand … and Hoo Ha Ride Glide. Intrigued, I picked up a few for the long ride. I ended up using the first packet the following day on 10 mile mountain bike ride and immediately noticed the cooling sensation, which told me it was working. I also noticed the exceptionally pleasant smell.
I didn’t bother to ask my companions if they could also smell it because there really isn’t an easy way to ask if your booty cream smells nice.
The first ride was fine, nothing special … but it was enough to prompt me to pick up a full-size bottle. Anymore, it’s my go-to ride cream. It’s not too thick, lasts quite a while, and smells nice. I like that it’s formulated for women and the trial sizes come in environmentally-friendly packaging. Plus it’s quite a conversation piece when the conversation inevitably turns to chamois creams (what, you don’t talk about that stuff on your group rides?).
From their website:
Reflect Sports feminine chafing cream, Hoo Ha Ride Glide® protects your Hoo Ha from saddles sores, chafing, friction burns, irritation and inflammation. Our chafing cream provides healing and prevents saddle sores and chafing from exercise. Focused on the sensitivities of the vaginal area our product is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. In addition to having healing agents, our chafing cream is enriched with barely extract, lavender, eucalyptus leaf, tea tree and peppermint oil. These specialized ingredients provide a lasting cool feeling so you enjoy your ride, run or spin class.
I attribute this mostly to taking yesterday as a Slug Day, a day where my main accomplishment was taking a shower at 7pm.
It’s amazing how one day … just one little day … of absolving yourself of all responsibilities can have a huge impact on your outlook.
So I rode my bike in to work. I got up a little later than I usually do when I bike commute and left my house later than usual.
My legs felt heavy as I re-acquainted myself with my commuter bike and a full pannier after taking out my nice (light and fast) road bike this weekend on a fun ride.
But pedal-along I did and before I knew it I was coming up on the City.
Once I get closer into the city there is so much to enjoy: the turn-of-the-century architecture, old stone bridges, stairs that bring you to the river’s edge. The lush parks are truly oases among concrete and brick – and the traffic imparts the rhythmic heartbeat of the city. The stop and go of everyday life.
There’s something about today that makes it extra special.
I’m not sure why I love this City. But I do.
I’ve never felt this way about a city before – they’ve always just been a jumble of buildings and asphalt and concrete.
But this one is different. This one is slowly becoming My City.
* * * * *
I’ve looked back at my training calendar and realizing things are not as bleak as they appeared last week. I’ve been out fairly consistently even though I’m going through wild mileage fluctuation (400+ miles one month; less than 200 another month). I suspect my frustration is from a lack of routine. Last summer I knew I was going out every Tuesday night and one day each weekend. I added in bike commuting last August once or twice a week (on my 35+ lb comfort hybrid – dear g-d why did I do that to myself??).
I’m just 32 miles shy of 1800 miles for the year, which is roughly what I did in all of last year. I’m going to be fine. I’ve talked to my bike friends about taking a break and they are super supportive … but I think most of it is just re-framing everything in my mind.
I just need to make things organic to my life – and do them on my own terms.
For the third time in a week, I have ignored my 5:30am alarm.
For the third time in a week, I have chosen sleep over bike commuting.
How far I’ve fallen from just a few weeks ago.
This summer has been tough for getting good ride time for me. Lots has been going on outside my world of cycling. Somehow I get it in my head that everyone else in the world is out every day. Everyone else is also better, faster, cooler, and more dedicated than me. I try to keep up with the false notions my brain feeds me. I feel like I should be pushing through … but for what? I’m not training for anything other than to keep up with the Jones’.
The difference from two weeks ago is family. They are paramount and when they were otherwise occupied, it was easy to get up early and ride. I only had to be concerned for myself. Now I am trying to make sure summer homework is getting done and we squeeze the last bits of freedom out of summer. My in-laws are coming for the weekend and we still need to clean the house. And my stomach issues are still there (better but I’m aware) – and the GI doc is on the calendar for just after Labor Day.
And there’s the stuff I want to do but just haven’t found a way yet: mountain biking; hiking; camping. I’m so frustrated with not being able to do everything I want to do. Not like this is a surprise or anything – I always feel like I should do MORE.
So I’ve decided to let it go for now. Let go of the ridiculousness that is trying to keep up with everything. Go on fun rides with friends on the weekends if It works out. Tinker with bike commuting later in the morning (even though it means riding without the benefit of my awesome bike commuting friends). Get my plans together for my daughter’s Girl scout troop. Sleep in and relax more. Go bowling. Go out-of-town with the family.
Find balance in my life again.
I’ll leave you with my most favorite event photo ever. It was taken by Sundance Images in Castle Rock, Colorado. I love this photo so much I ordered it as the cheesy “magazine cover” (Rad & Bad bikes anyone?) because it has that “cover girl” look. I even ordered a second copy for my mom. It reminds me of why I ride – the wind in your face, the scenery, the pavement zipping by. It’s a picture of happiness and ease … you’d never know I was churning up a decent hill.