Scenes from a Sunday ride of firsts

Source: Jess Smith

Source: Jess Smith

“Coeur” is French for “heart,” so it was only fitting that those of us in the Bay Area met up during Valentine’s weekend for our first of (hopefully!) many ladies’ bike ‘n’ brunch rides with Coeur Sports and Osmo Nutrition.

Interestingly enough, “coeur” is also the root of the word “courage,” and I ended up needing a good dose of it in order to get myself out the door this morning. To say I was nervous pulling up to our meeting spot would be putting it mildly…I mean, this group touts some serious racing resumes (we’re talking pro triathletes, Ironman finishers and all-around endurance sport superstars), and I’m still very much a noob when it comes to the swim and bike stuff.

Our hosts Hailey and Jess not only welcomed everyone with open arms, though, but they also offered encouraging words as I admitted to them that I was feeling super intimated and in waaay over my head. But before I knew it, we were off…and it was sink or swim (or more like punk out or pedal), so I rode along with my friend Amy, a fellow runner and November Project member, and we joined up with Doris, a local triathlete with whom we both hit it off immediately.

It turned out to be a ride of many firsts as we hit the road for our adventure:

First time meeting the Coeur crew in-person and cycling in a group…

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First time riding in bike shoes and cleats…

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First time helping to change a flat tire (successfully, I might add!)…

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Source: Doris Steere

Source: Doris Steere

First time taking in the beautiful scenery in Woodside, Calif. (although we did get a bit lost)…

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First time realizing how good brunch tastes after a ride, especially when you’re surrounded by incredibly inspiring women…

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And, finally, first time in a long time realizing you’re never too old to still have “firsts” — whether it’s making new friends, conquering fears, tackling challenges or simply believing in yourself…

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We ended up riding about 18.5 miles total, which included almost 2,500 feet of elevation gain for what I dubbed the “thigh-thrasher” workout. While it ended up being a more, er, “creative” route (read: we got lost and took a totally different path), it was a good metaphor for the day: It’s not always about sticking to the planned journey; sometimes it’s when we veer off track that the magic truly happens.

10 thoughts on “Scenes from a Sunday ride of firsts

  1. Jen, I absolutely love this post! You have a way of making me feel like I am right there. I am so proud of what you are accomplishing and how persistant you are in conquering your fears. You are such an honest role model for all of us! Way to go!


    • Thanks; I appreciate that 🙂 Definitely felt out very out of my element going into yesterday…but now, knowing what to expect – and that I need to work on just getting more comfortable on two wheels – has helped tremendously. (Not to mention how positive all the ladies were!)


  2. That sounds awesome! Congrats on trying something new and putting yourself out there! It sounds like you were able to keep up with the Ironman finishers just fine 🙂


    • Thank you! Although, I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say I ‘kept up’ (haha!)…but it did get me excited to get out there more. Funny how forcing yourself to be uncomfortable can actually make you more comfortable in the long run…


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