Riding in the ‘Hood

I bit the bullet today and rode in my ‘hood. I had an 1.5 hour ride with 4x hill repeat. The problem with my ‘hood is simply narrowing down WHICH hill. I figured I would explore and ride relatively flat for the first 30 minutes, do my hill repeats in the next 30, and cool down in the last 30.

Cycling Fears

Riding my bike over here has been a bug-a-boo for me. What follows are some stereotypes, so please don’t let me offend you, but these are observations I’ve come to after driving and riding here.

  • The cars are huge,
  • everyone is in a hurry,
  • 75 percent of the people are talking on their cellphones,
  • and the bigger the car the less likely it is to make even a nod towards stopping at the stop signs.
  • There is no speed limit over 30mph in the ‘hood proper, yet you will be tailgated mercilessly if you drive that.

Lots of trepidation from me but I have become a much better rider and so I thought, “Suck it up. Ride defensively. You can do it.”

It wasn’t a bad ride. My legs were kind of dead (mile repeats can do that). I forgot that I have an immediate large hill to get anywhere, so I warmed up a bit by doing out-and-back down Bluegrass and then coming back up Lost Horizon. I mulled over whether that counted as a hill repeat–verdict, no, just part of the route. So I explored around and decided to do the end of Oak Knoll as my hill.

It’s a little deceptive because, like just about everywhere over here, you have downhill leading into the uphill but Oak Knoll was safe (wide, relatively quiet, and only two feeder streets off to the side). Plus, there’s more uphill once you turn off at the top though again, you don’t really realize it…until you do it as a hill repeat.

I did two of those and then decided to hit Fireoak as a repeat. Not the gradual side that you run if you’ve done Motive Bison Half Marathon, but the other side heading toward Laurel Mountain Elementary, which is more mountainous.

As I came flying down, I realized I was speeding at 33mph (and I was braking). Had to stand to make that hill. But it wasn’t bad and that was cool and I felt suitably badass.

Rode a bit along Yaupon…and realized as I came back that it’s a long, gradual uphill–part of the route and not a repeat–and then headed back over to do one more repeat at Oak Knoll, checking the computer as I came to the hill–yep, speeding again at over 30mph. Ooops. Rode around some more and wrapped it up at 1:28:56 (I love it when I can hit the time so close with no gerbilling).

My legs felt pretty blah the whole time but otherwise it was a nice ride. Glad to have it done. And I am not so afraid of riding in the ‘hood anymore. Woot!

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I’m a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I’ve come to learn it. In addition to my blog “Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life” at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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