13 mph...14 mph...15 mph...14 mph... ok, it looked like I was going to crawl along at 14 mph comfortably on flat road. On a road bike on flat road that is a pretty poor pace, but what mattered was that I was spinning, and my legs needed to adjust to what seemed so unnatural.
3 months and 1 day since I have been able to bike on real ground without having any pain. But on this day, 20 days after surgery, I did it and did it well. Today I was very hesitant to go on the LOL ride today after having a slightly "down" morning with the knee. But it seems that pain while walking around is not translating over to pain while biking. So on this, my first bike ride more than 5 miles in over 3 months, I was able to bike the full 18 miles of the LOL ride without a flinch of knee pain. Nothing was catching in there.. nothing hurt. It was then that I decided the knee surgery really was a success because I am able to do what makes me thrive. About a third of the way through the ride I was able to pick up the pace a couple of mphs, but nothing like I was able to do comfortably back in June. I'm not really used to going slow.. not even when commuting... I like to feel the wind in my face. It's more of a game to me than anything seeing how fast I can go down a hill. But today I was not worried about bringing in the rear because I was focused on not pushing too hard and enjoying the aroma of the falling leaves and what color is still left in the hills... not to mention being extremely thankful that I could bike and not hurt. The things we take for granted! Ballaine Hill gave me hell getting up it, but it didn't hurt. Slow and steady was the game. My butt hurt halfway through the ride for the first time in many many years. My muscles were asking me what the heck I was doing to them. But it all felt very good. I let 'er rip down Ballaine Hill and got to a max speed of 39 mph before thinking about the cracked helmet from June's bad bike crash (pre-injury) sitting in my house.. which prompted me to give the brakes a little bit of love.
Celine came along too and we respectively represented our alma maters.. whose teams are football enemies. :) Goooooooo Nittany Lions!
I spent the first half of the ride talking with Lindy, and we found we had a ton of similiarities. She wrote a very nice write up on her blog. The next two photos I've stolen from her. :)
The LOLs, Ladies of Leisure, are a group of women who ride every Thurs in town and are what their name suggests. Though, I think they are 5 times faster than they were in early June when I last rode with them! The best part about them other than their love of cycling is that their rides are focused around what food people bring for the end of the ride. :) Glad we have our priorities straight!It's good to be back before the snow flies!