The ride was beautiful – it started at a rest stop stocked with an incredible assortment of food, snacks and hydrating beverages. We rode through the (mostly) flat Hamptons against an unexpected and very strong headwind. The ride was far more challenging than I expected due to the wind. About 1/2 way through we entered a treed area so the wind was blocked and the ride became much easier.
However, my bike was starting to feel very uncomfortable. I was developing some pain in my knee and raised the seat, which seemed to help a little. It felt as though the handlebars on my bike were too wide and I was feeling pressure on my left shoulder, which was already weak due to several torn rotator cuff injuries over the years.
But mostly, while I was having fun, I was frustrated to be riding on a very heavy, entry-level hybrid with flat pedals. Back when I lived in Vail and Denver I had a really nice, lightweight road bike with clipless pedals that fit great and it was hard not to compare how much more comfortable a longish ride would have been on that bike.
However, instead of dwelling on my discomfort, I focused on the breathtaking scenery, how far my fitness had come in just three months, and the strengthening of my friendship with my riding partner and college friend. Over the course of the ride, she had gone from being a college friend to a current friend. And as soon as the ride was over, the knee and shoulder pain was gone.
I would definitely do this ride again next year. But only on a bike that fit well. And preferably I’d use a road bike and go for one of the further distances.