I traveled to Lake Placid, NY this weekend for a training weekend with a few of my good friends from the DC Tri Club. Angela, AJ, Julie and Kimberly all signed up for Ironman Lake Placid this year. I was psyched to join them in Placid to train. One of the great things about staying on the East Coast – I get to train with my friends from DC to Boston every month this summer! I’m really looking forward to cheering the ladies on in the race too – especially as I volunteer at the last water stop on the run course.
Given my cycling accident last weekend, I took a bit of time to recover this week. I focused on sleeping and putting bacitracin on my face – and not much else. I barely felt up to anything until Friday. But, let me tell you, the minute I pulled off exit 30 on I-87 towards Lake Placid, I was ready to ride and run again. Woo-hoo!
Recovery Ride Attempt #1
Saturday morning started out great. We rolled out of the house around 8 am. The plan was for me to do one loop of the IMLP bike course. About 56 miles. We hit the road around 8:45 am. But by 9:15 am, I was in tears.
On the first descent on Rt. 73 out of Lake Placid (just before River Road), my bike started to shake uncontrollably. I felt like I was riding a nervous horse that was ready to throw me at any second. Angela said the rear wheel was wobbly. I tried to ride a little further, but my confidence was shaken. Thankfully, Mom and Dad Strope were in LP for the weekend. They got the “rescue me” call.
I took my bike into High Peaks Cyclery for a quick check up. The guys tightened everything up, changed the tires, and even took the bike for a spin down the block. Everything checked out ok.
Recovery Ride – Attempt #2
I decided to try the hilly cycling route again around 11 am – with my parents acting as my sag vehicle. The first few descents felt alright – not nearly as wobbly. But, I hit above 30 and a little wind, and felt the wobble again. My parents waited for me after each descent, then followed me along. I made it to the top of the big descent into Keene, then lost it again. With tears flowing and my whole body shaking, I flagged my parents down and said, “I CAN’T DO IT! I can’t do it! Take me back to town!”
On the Road Again
I spent the remainder of Saturday afternoon cycling around the IMLP run course and Mirror Lake. It was flat and easy, and I felt much more confident. I test rode some tri bikes at Placid Planet on Sunday. The tri bike geometry allows for more weight on the front part of the bike and makes me feel a lot more steady. My friend Matt said I looked much stronger riding on the Felt B 16! And, I joined Kimberly and AJ for a quick ride along the run course on Monday morning.
In retrospect, heading out on a 56 mile HILLY ride was probably a bit ambitious for my first ride post-crash. And, it seems like my bike (a Giant TCR) might have picked up a case of Speed wobble post-crash. The causes of speed wobble are too numerous to count…but it also seems that the more tense, cold, or shaky a rider is, the more pronounced the wobble will be. Perfect for me coming off of a crash, right?
So, here’s my new plan to regain strength and confidence on the bike: