On Saturday I took my final long bike ride prior to this weekend’s triathlon. The bike is my weakest tri component. Last year I started cycling one month before my first (and so far only) tri. I rode a borrowed hybrid. I’ve only had my bike sense May and I’m still learning the ins and outs of it.
Due to various injuries sustained by a few female members of my tri group, Saturday’s meet up consisted of four guys and two of us girls. I knew in advance this would be the case. The guys tend to push themselves to a speed way beyond what I’m capable of. Lynn, the other female, can easily stay with them. I can’t. Lynn and I discussed the group dynamics on Friday. She has a strong chance of taking first place in her age division this weekend. I assumed she’d want to go out for a hard training ride before taper week begins. But she said she’d rather stay back with me and encouraged me to show up.
I’m glad I did.
Not only did Lynn stay back with me, allowing us to talk and solve the world’s problems, she often rode behind me and had me shift gears while she watched the chains move into the various rings. Our ride turned into a how-to clinic and I’m much more comfortable as this weekend nears.
As we climbed a hill, Lynn rode a little bit ahead of me, stopping at the top to wait. When I yelled, “Don’t stop, I’m right behind you!” she was genuinely thrilled and proud of me.
Lynn has the heart of a teacher and I know she was excited to help a novice. I’ve always been a bit of a Lone Ranger, and accepting help can be difficult for me. I’m glad that wasn’t the case on Saturday.