Baptism by Fire

The I had email Lance earlier in the week to see if he wanted to break in his new Specialized Epic he got at Wheel Fast. (shameless plug) Lance is just getting into the multisport thing and has only been on his bike 4 times. So I thought… he really needs to learn the ropes…

Two words: Petersburg

I have talked about this ride many times but, never have I opened up my soul to a novice. (I mean that in a nice way)

Lance and I decided on 7am Saturday morning. The time got pushed back til 7:30 from my house, due to a few showers. By the time Lance showed up (by car) the rain had stopped and we were ready to roll. The kicker here is… the wind was SSW and we were heading North.

We had a lovely tail wind on the way out.

The hills really didn’t start until Salisbury. Lance was ok with the first few, then I think he realized what he was getting into. It was one hill after the other. At one point we had to stop. He couldn’t get his chain in the small ring. The front derailleur was stuck. I had him kick it with his shoe a could times and presto! it click down. Thank God for that, or Lance would have been walking up most of these hills.

Lance attacking on the hillsI had to keep reminding Lance that he wanted to go on this ride. I think I told him there would be hills and a headwind on the way back…

We rolled into “the Burg” and stopped at the gas station so Lance could refill his bottles. It was busy as a super market on Sunday.

On the way out of town we went through New Salem State Park. It turns out today was the Boy Scout walk/hike to Springfield. The park was packed with tents, campers and buses. We were weaving around people and this did not look promising for the ride home.

Making our way back to Springfield, there were tons of kids on the road. Mostly they were walking on the left side, but every now and then, they would just scatter, like marbles dropping on the floor. They were unpredictable, so our speed was very slow, to avoid mishap.

I encourage Lance up most of the hills and avoided chuckling, but I think having all these kids on the road was more encouraging. Come on… we had spandex on…

I just kept telling him just one more hill… I think he had enough. At some point the conversation got pretty low.

If the hills weren’t bad enough, the wind was a kick in the face… I think we crawled the last five flat miles at 10mph. Lance had nothing else to give.

By the time we made it home, he was talking about his next ride.

Lance did an awesome job. 5th time on the bike and 50 miles! Baptism by fire!