The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Have a Triple and I'm Not Afraid to Use It

In the world of cycling, there are compact doubles and triples. I am referring to the number of chainrings (either 2 or 3) in the front crankset. The third chainring on the triple is small and gives you a range of lower gears. These "granny gears" are used for climbing. The lowest gear on my triple is a little lower than the lowest gear on a compact double and I am happy to have it. Stronger riders may be able to push harder to climb the hills in a higher gear. I prefer to use my granny gears to spin my way up those hills. It takes more revolutions of the pedals to travel the same distance so I travel slower, but I rarely get off my bike.

Over the last few years, I have learned to embrace the hills and the challenge they present. That's how you become a stronger rider. If you aren't afraid of the hills, you can be more adventurous and explore more roads. You might even discover something wonderful at the top of one of those hills (besides a fabulous view). That's what happened when I decided to climb Baptist Church Road.

I must admit that there are still some hills that intimidate me and I avoid them, but DH and I are going on a cycling vacation next month in the Canadian Rockies. There's not much I can do to prepare myself for the elevation, but I can certainly prepare myself for consecutive days of riding with significant climbing. That's why I decided it was time to (harden the f*%^k up)conquer Baptist Church Road and cross it off the list of Climbs To Fear (to put this in perspective, the climb is 1.5 miles with 330 feet of elevation and the grade ranges from 5-12%). Well, I made it and at the top of Baptist Church Road I turned into the driveway of the Faraway Farm and there I discovered the alpacas. Yes, there is an alpaca farm just a few miles from home in the northern suburbs of NYC. I had a conversation with one of their caretakers and he told me to come and visit anytime! The alpacas seemed a little afraid of my bike and the blinkie, but they did finally venture over to say hello. I now have a good reason to climb that road again (besides getting stronger for the Canadian Rockies). I want to visit the alpacas and I want them to meet my friends too. I may be dragging a few of my cycling friends up that hill with me!

It has been 3 months since I've posted here. Not sure if there is anyone out there listening but I am hoping to get my blogging rolling again. It keeps me honest. I have been riding but not with any race or goal in mind; mostly because I really enjoy being on my bike, with my cycling buddies, and taking photos. Losing Mike on St. Pat's Day was very difficult but his death has helped me and many of my friends realize that we need to embrace the days we have. I think Mike would have loved to visit the alpacas.


RockStarTri said...

Some of us are still here. Good to have you back.

We have an alpaca farm east of NYC too. They aren't near a hill so keep that in mind.

Audrey said...

I'm listening :) Welcome back.