A few weeks ago a friend called and asked if I would want to do a midnight ride through Indianapolis. A big group of local bike riders meet at the Indianapolis Fairgrounds and ride throughout downtown with crazy lights and glow sticks. Being the somewhat avid biker that I am, I was super excited. I paid my $31 entry fee, signed up and looked forward to the new adventure.
My friend who found out about the ride signed herself and her husband up along with me and my boyfriend. She sent me the confirmations and I immediately noticed a lot of VERY important information she left out:
- All riders must wear helmets. I am not against helmets, however, I do not own one b/c my top speeds are typically around 7mph. And, I normally take the sidewalk or cultural trail.
- All riders must have light on their bike. I am not against bike lights, however, I do not own one b/c I do not ride when its dark outside or venture into areas where I need a strobe light to see my path.
- All riders must be able to ride 20 miles. Yes! One I think I can do.
- All riders must be able to ride 20 miles in 2 hours. WAIT – what?! I can ride 20 miles, but in two hours? I have a hybrid bike, aka a step up from a cruiser with gears. It’s not a fast bike, certainly nothing like the Jimmy John’s delivery bikes. Also, I typically cruise right around 5-7 mph.
At first I was dying laughing, but quickly thought: I’m paying all this money to do something that I don’t even know if I’ll able to do! My loving boyfriend said he’d be my coach. So night 1 of training we did 8.5 miles in fifty-eight minutes. I was beat red and extremely exhausted, which made me even more nervous. I made a promise to myself that I was going to train for the next couple of weeks leading up to the ride. And, honestly, I only ended up biking one other time. Training is hard!
The weekend of the big ride was finally upon me and I started feeling a lot better. A few people that I spoke with said things like, “Oh they just say it will be that fast to scare people who can’t ride at all out of signing up;” or “There is no way that a big group of bikers will be able to ride that fast together.” The night before I went to get my helmet and met a guy that has done the ride several times before. He was saying how much fun it is and that it’s such a great event. I was searching for confirmation to all the things my friends had said, so I asked him if it was an intense ride or not. His response, and I quote, “ Ohh no its super easy, the average speed is about 12-15 mph.” The smile on my face flew off so fast. I was too embarrassed to dig in more, so I just said, “Oh perfect!”
The day was finally upon me, and to make myself feel better I went to go get a cool new outfit, of course!
We arrived early and I instantly felt comfortable as I saw many people with “my kind of bike.” There were people of all ages and it was perfect weather. I was able to keep my own pace, but consistently stayed right around 9-10 mph! I was really proud of myself! I completed the ride of 16 miles in about 1hr and 45 mins. It was a great event and would highly recommend it to all bike riders!!! Check out this link to find out more information.