Candied Jansen is a cycler. Every year she rides in the practice rides that prepare riders for the MS150, a 150 mile bike ride between Houston and Austin. Last year, she actually participated in the MS150 as well, but this year her plan is to just do the practice rides for fun.
A couple of weeks ago, Candied Jansen was trying to decide if she wanted to continue to do the bike rides. I wanted to encourage her so I offered to do the next day’s ride with her. Part of me thought I was crazy for offering, but the other part of me was excited to try it. She said the short ride was 18 miles long but that it was all flat terrain from what she was told. I told her I wasn’t sure how many miles I could give her, but I would give it my best shot! I went to her house and tried on biking apparel and tried out a couple of her extra bikes. The next morning was cold and I was a little worried that I might not make it. We got to the ride and went to the back of the pack. I knew I would be slow and would be holding Candied Jansen back, but she was just excited to have me there with her. We found out that the short ride was actually 23 miles long which didn’t sound much harder than 18 to me. We started out and were pretty much in last place. I didn’t care and actually enjoyed being out there. There was a hill though and despite trying to make it up the hill, I could barely peddle fast enough to keep the bike upright so I had to get off and walk the bike up the hill. No worries! We came to a rest stop at about the 10 mile mark, and my crotch was hurting pretty bad! I hobbled to the rest room, grabbed some gummy bears, and water, and we hopped back on the bikes. The next part wasn’t too bad at first. I started to get tired and the bike seat was more and more uncomfortable. Then we came to another hill. It wasn’t much and was probably more of a slight incline, but it was pretty tough for me. I made it to the top of that one, but another hill/incline loomed ahead. By this point, Candied Jansen was talking to me to try to keep my mind off of it, but I could barely talk. I kind of wanted to cry. And I knew I was done. I looked at the speedometer to see how far I’d ridden and saw that we had come 18.6 miles. Wait…I did the 18 miles I said I’d try when we first talked about it! At that point, I didn’t care that I hadn’t made it the full 23 miles. I did what I came to do!
This was before we started. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t smiling quite that big when we were done! But I was proud of myself for at least trying it.
And I’m super excited for next week! Next week I’ve volunteered to work one of the rest stops. The rides get physically harder and longer over the weeks so I know I couldn’t do the actual rides, but I love that I can support Candied Jansen by helping out!