On the pedals, out and in

Today marks week 5 since my shoulder dislocation. I am back on my road bike and riding with others. This is how I find out how much I do not know about riding my road bike.

I do not know how to gauge what gear to be in. I do not know how to tell when people are about to ride away from me. I'm either fighting to keep up or feeling like I'm riding way too easy. I do not know how to tell when I am burning matches, or how to tell when to. I do not know myself on the bike.

This is not completely disheartening. It is more like if I was almost done renovating my 3-room house and then found out it is actually a 15-room house that needs renovating.

Pros and cons.

Anyway, since clearly I also do not know much about riding my mountain bike, let's just say that cycling remains a vivid and exciting world for me.

I am however getting very good at this:

That picture was taken three weeks ago. I have been standing pedaling on the exercise bike at the gym for three weeks. I am a lot better at standing pedaling now on my road bike than I was before my accident.

I stand up straight like in the picture at the highest resistance. As I gradually lower the resistance, I hinge forward and pedal faster, until so much sweat is running off me it looks like someone is pouring water over the back of my head.

When I can't take it any more I stand up straight again and go slow. Sometimes for fun I see if I can pedal without holding the bars, or see how long I can stand and balance. It is a lot easier now that I am out of the sling.

Anyway, eventually if I am just standing there the machine yells at me in big blinking all caps to PEDAL FASTER.

This is very funny on a machine that does not move. As far as I can tell, the only threat or penalty for not pedaling faster is that it will stop telling me how slowly I am pedaling.

And maybe I will never be a hard core competitive road cyclist, because I am really OK with that.