Bike Talk: 20 Things Road Cyclists Are REALLY Thinking

As a cyclist, it really hits home when I read headlines like ‘Italian cyclist dies in training crash‘. Why? Because it could have been me.


I bought my beloved road bike back in May 2013 (<3 my Trek Lexa) after 4 years of indoor cycling and a year and a half or so spent on my old childhood hybrid whenever I would visit my parents. Seeking the ability to climb hills easier and ride at a faster pace (and a bike light enough to carry into my apartment), I took the leap into road cycling and haven’t looked back.

The satisfaction obtained after completing a 25, 30, or 45 mile ride; the fresh air and wind in your face; feeling the sun on your back; the strength you feel building in your entire body as you push up that [what didn’t look like a] hill; the post-ride feeling that you are an amazing, strong athlete that you never thought you could be… these are the reasons why biking is one of my favorite things to do.

For me, a perfect day would be one filled with blue skies (at the perfect temperature), that included both a morning long ride and a leisurely (but still athletic) kayak ride.When I’ve envisioned my future in the past, that future contains a SUV with bikes on its back and kayaks on the roof while I go off on a weekend trip with my significant other. Other girls dream of their weddings or their kids, but I dream of my active weekends.

At this point in my life, I’m no longer waiting for someone else in order to achieve my dreams. So I now have that bike on the back of my car, but the whole kayak-on-the-roof is a little difficult alone so that one can wait! My kayak lives elsewhere, so I still get convenient, frequent access.

Despite all of these positives, there are downsides to being a road cyclist. And a lot of backlash.

I frequently hear and read people bitching about “those terrible cyclists”, “bikes shouldn’t be allowed on the road”, “I just want to hit one of them with my car”. Now let me clear something up: I have also complained about walkers, runners, and cyclists who do not follow the rules of the road.

Runners and walkers, you should be using the sidewalk OR walking on the road IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF TRAFFIC. I can’t tell you how often I see people not following this rule. There’s one person in particular that really pisses me off when I see them on my drive to the gym at 5:15 in the PITCH DARK who runs on the wrong side AND wears dark clothes! No, no, and no!

As often as runners and walkers piss me off, well cyclists do too. When driving through the city they’re weaving in and out of cars and not obeying red lights. In the suburbs they’ll sit two abreast on a busy road (though I can think of some runners I see frequently who do this as well), or ride after dark with no lights and dark clothes (this is, most frequently, non-athletic bikers – like kids).

But you need to understand something: not all cyclists are out to disregard the rules of the road or create a hazard for drivers. I also need you to understand the number of times I have almost been hit by a car while obeying the law.

Bike Talk: 20 Things Road Cyclists Are Really Thinking

To portray this, here are 20 thoughts that go through the head of a cyclist (or at least through my head on my long ride on Sunday)! I’ll add to this as I think of more. Warning: contains profanities.

  1. I hate this [side] street. This is where I slammed into that parked car three years ago and destroyed my knee. Man I wish it warranted surgery… I’m so sick of it STILL not being healed! Also… still embarrassed, so let’s get off this street quick.
  2. Darn. Stop light. Okay, position your foot on the pedal just like that so you can start up quick as soon as it changes to green, also so you don’t piss off the line of cars behind you. Hmm a little too far, re-adjust quick! Green! Alright, ready, wait for the car ahead to move a little more… okay, go!
  3. Hmmm I need another car to appear because I can never trip the light at this intersection. Score, here’s one coming!
  4. Jeez! They really need to repave this road… like yesterday. Pothole galore! Wait, did they really just patch up their road with a gazillion of those black strip things? UGH they are NOT smooth and this hurts my butt! This is dangerous! If I get hit I’m suing this stupid town.
  5. Shit! Damn it person, I could feel the heat from your car! Back off! Was that really necessary to drive that close when you absolutely 100% could have pulled further to your left???? Why do people always do that!!??!!??!!
  6. Shoot! Busy road and so many potholes! Okay focus. Car, car, car, bump, pothole, car, car, pedestrian, pothole, pothole, pothole, pothole, car, I see a shadow… do you think there’s a pothole under it? Nope. Phew!
  7. Damn it, everyone thinks I need to be so cautious and watch out for cars… but do they realize I’ve got to look out for people, animals, bumps, and potholes, too?!? If I hit one of those potholes, it’d be just as disastrous as hitting a car… in fact, it might make me fly in the path of an oncoming car. I really wish people understood that…
  8. Okay, do we think anyone is going to hit me if I swerve right here around this big cluster potholes in 1 second? If I look behind me right now I’m a goner either way so let us pray… Phew! Made it! I’m alive… this time!
  9. Oh no. Big hill with a stop sign before the top of it. No! Car coming up behind me. Please let me continue through the stop sign or I’m going to fall off my bike trying to start up again! Ugh I’m so tired, this hill is steep! Why do I bike? Please please please please…. THANK YOU PERSON FOR BEING SO KIND AND SEEING ME STRUGGLE AND LETTING ME CONTINUE WITHOUT STOPPING! I’m going so slow up this climb it’s the same as stopping anyway…
  10. Are they going to let me turn? Ugh I don’t like left turns. Yes, here’s a perfect opening! Hand signal up, turnnnnn.
  11. What street is this? Remember: left [street name], right [street name], left [street name], right [streetname], slight right [street name]. (Repeat this a couple of times.) Okay left, right, left, right, right. (Repeat.) Wait! Was it left, right, left, left, right?? Ah I’m getting confused! Where am I?!
  12. Here’s a good section to grab a quick drink of water. [Drinks.] Okay, now to put it back in the holder without missing and keeping my eyes on the road… yikes, this isn’t as easy as it looks! Don’t drop it…
  13. Ugh, again! There is literally NO ONE NEAR US and you had to drive within inches from me?? Thank goodness I didn’t swerve that far around that pothole. Crap!!
  14. Another cyclist behind me! Nooo I’m going as fast as I can, how are you passing me?! He’s like ancient compared to me! Man I’m so slow!
  15. My butt hurts sooo much. I need a new seat!! Man those people in those cars with those nice cushy seats, and they’re annoyed at me for delaying them a little bit?? THEY’RE THE ONES IN CUSHY SEATS! TMI jerks, I’m even getting saddle sores so why don’t you give me a little sympathy… it’s not going to delay you that much!
  16. Jeez! I almost jumped off my bike after that person honked at me. I HATE when that happens. Why are they honking??? I’m not doing anything wrong! Because I’m a girl? Gross.
  17. I’m tired, almost done. Oh man, why does it hurt so bad all of a sudden. I thought I was in shape! How do those people in my classes do 60 miles rides when I’m dying after 25?? I need to do more strength exercises. And a new seat.
  18. My abs are feeling the BURN. I really need to cut back some weight so that I can go faster and show off some of this muscle! My back too… it’ll look good, but DAMN I need to book a massage soon because I can feel a knot building up back there right now… oh and if they can massage my hamstrings that’d be fantasssstic because gosh darn they’re tight!
  19. Almost home. I’m getting hangry. I feel sweaty and covered in dirt and I’m tired and I’m ready for this to be over.
  20. Bike ride done! The feeling is slowly coming back to my butt. I feel so good! Dang, I burned some major calories. Hopefully I got some nice tan lines, too.

Cyclists: do you have anything to add to this list?

xo Nadine

April Showers & First Long Ride of the Year

They say April showers bring May flowers… right?

It was a dreary day in Boston today (I’m writing this from my bed on Tuesday night). It also happened to be one of those days where I just wanted to retreat back home ASAP and crawl under the covers.

Okay, that’s a lie, I’m currently binge watching When Calls the Heart so I reallllly wanted to watch a few more episodes of that. I’m so addicted! The main male character is pretty attractive, which is just a bonus.

Binge watch or not, I DID in fact want to go home to my bed. It was just one of those blah days: I was sore from my workout, still sore from my long ride on Sunday, and my PMS bad mood was kicking in…. all a recipe for disaster. I had plans to meet some girlfriends for dinner and drinks, but that got canceled last minute which was a huge bummer, so my bad mood continued (though I am excited to reschedule for a better day when none of us would be as rushed).

Last year when I lost 20 pounds I did so through intermittent fasting. So since I am currently dieting to get in better shape for beach & bike season, I am trying to get back into fasting. I haven’t been able to get back into the habit yet (starting it up is the hardest part), but I was pretty successful at not emotionally eating tonight. I “treated” myself to stove-top popcorn and chocolate almond milk (slightly higher in sugar and calories then I would have liked, but not the most terrible option either).

ANYWAY. Let’s back up. I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was super quiet and relaxing and I really didn’t realize how much sleep I needed to catch up on. Well I did, but considering staying in bed until 9 is really late for me… I didn’t get out of bed until 10 on Sunday! And on Friday I even fell asleep on the couch after getting home from work… so yep, I’m all caught up on sleep now. #success

Wine & Live PD
My favorite Friday night lately = wine + Live PD

Saturday was a total veg out day. I was going to do my long ride then, but it ended up being gross and drizzy out. So instead I went to Home Goods, Target, and Old Navy, as well as did all of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

I’ve been on the hunt for new throw pillows for my couch & bed. Since I’ve lived on my own (so… 8 years), I’ve been really into nautical/coastal and always had seashells and things like that as decorations. I was recently watching an episode of Property Brothers on HGTV and was totally obsessed with the design of one of the houses which I realized was absolutely my taste – and they called it nautical. So now I use the design of that house as inspiration (it’s a tab on my browser on my phone) and have been on the hunt for navy, nautical-style throw pillows. I finally was successful at Target this weekend! Home Goods was a fail. I’ll have to share pictures, soon.

As for Old Navy, I bought a couple of new workout crops since I tend to want to wear the same pair practically everyday. So I thought another couple of pairs of black ones wouldn’t hurt.

And for grocery shopping… I’ve decided to do a modified version of the Tone It Up Bikini Series nutrition plan. I’m making it gluten-free and low-FODMAP, and also eating less variety (since I don’t mind eating the same thing for a week straight). I’m also not eating the dinnertime meal, but substituting a little extra food throughout the day to makeup for it. Regardless, I did the calorie calculations so I know exactly how much I need to make up.

Here’s a sample of some of the things I’ve been eating:

Tone It Up Overnight Oats
Pina Colada Overnight Oats: gluten-, lactose-, and FODMAP-free

 

Tone It Up Mango + Tumeric Smoothie
Mango & Tumeric Smoothie – so good! Also gluten- and lactose-free, and low-FODMAP.

After another quiet night in and sleeping late on Sunday, I went for a 24.5 mile bike ride in the afternoon – first of the season! It was a perfect day – not too breezy, perfect temps (I wish I had worn a tank!), and bright blue skies. It was heavenly. <3

Road bike calories burned

Burning 1300 calories didn’t hurt, either! Road biking is truly a whole body workout, so while I might be sore after it is entirely worth it. As they say, hurts so good! This is usually the time of year when amping up my workouts tweaks a muscle in my back that spasms with every breath, so fingers crossed that my regular strength workouts will prevent that! It’ll save me some $$$ from needing an immediate massage…

So that’s the update on the health & fitness front! Follow me on Instagram (link is in the sidebar to the right!) to stay informed on my healthy eating adventures via the TIU Bikini Series.

xo Nadine