...or, more accurately, how great other people say I am.
I'm not one to brag, but my cycling ego has taken some hits. Having a friend who just picked up cycling smoke me, getting dropped by my non-riding son, and Wendy's 18 mph average over 23 miles on a mountain bike. Ouch. So while I took the following with a grain of salt, it still made me feel good.
In today's ride report from the RDP Ramble, I mentioned riding with Wesley. He and another guy stopped by us at a stoplight. "You know you're riding this ride twice?" he said.
Figuring he was joking, I said, "Sure, why not," and Debbie chimed in, "You are, too."
"No, I'm not," he said, "She is, because she's doing it on that bike." (My hybrid). "You need a road bike!"
"I know," I said, "I'm saving up and accepting donations for the road bike fund." (laughter)
I was ahead of everyone for a while when we were on Grant's Trail, and I had a pretty good pace going. I was cruising along at 17-19 mph without pushing. Wesley pulled up next to me and asked, "Who do I make my donation out to? You are flying. You need a road bike." I don't remember what else he said (why oh why did I not bring a compliment-activated recording device??), but he talked about me being a very strong rider.
We split from him at the rest stop, but we ran into him and his friend Marvin leaving St. Louis. Wes and Debbie were chatting, while I was just pushing in anticipation of the hill coming up. I actually made it up this hill without struggling too much. About halfway up, Marvin pulled alongside me and said, "You don't even know how strong you are. If you had a road bike, you'd be a monster. You're really moving up this hill." Etc.
More discussion about why I don't have a road bike. It's not for lack of desire, people! Saving up that kind of money is a slow process when you're a teacher and have three kids. Like I tell my kids...it'll just make me appreciate it that much more, right? So we talked about finding something on craigslist and buying used, etc. He offered to look over a bike for me if I found one, which is nice, though I don't know that I'd take him up on it.
And the thing is, I really don't think I'm that strong of a rider. I'm stubborn and don't want to stop til I'm done. I can go fairly fast when the route is flat (and there's not a major headwind), but I'm not crazy fast. And as much as I want a road bike, there's only so much that your equipment can do. It's always going to be about the rider, not what's being ridden.
That said, all of the above was still very nice to hear.
Certainly nicer than my husband's take on it when I recounted the conversations to him: "They were just hitting on you." A) Thanks for your confidence in my riding. and B) I don't think that's the case at all.