you're reading...
charity, cycling, endurance, running, sports

A brick, a flat, a day of conquered challenges


It was a busy weekend!

Saturday’s group brick (bike & run) was near Greenbelt, MD [Our Ride]. My group mentor, Rich, and I convinced ourselves that we would be early. Was that the case? Not so much. More than 15 people were already getting ready in the parking lot when we arrived and it was 7:20 a.m.

The weather was nice – great day for a ride and run

Side note: I’ve found cycling much more enjoyable than I could ever have anticipated. I love the preparation, the gearing up and taking off with another rider, or a whole peloton.

I was in a competitive frame of mind. I have been training a lot and this brick was supposed to show some of that off.


Slowly everyone begins to huddle in on one section of the parking lot.


The group grows, 10 to 30 to more than 50 riders amassing together with bikes and eager looks. Announcements made, safety signals reviewed.


We’re off!

One by one riders hit the road. How do you feel when riding in a group versus by yourself? I’ve found riding on roads to be okay when I’m by myself; however I’ll admit that riding with large groups takes a lot more concentration. There is so much more to look out for and you depend on great communication skills to stay safe.


I am ten people from the front of the group two riders. This is exciting…we’re in the middle of MD on an awesome day.


Me: “Hey can you check my back tire. Is it flat?
Rider behind me: “Oh yeah – your tire looks low!

My first flat tire, bugger! What a kill joy! I pulled over to the side of the road five minutes into the group ride and ask for help to change my tire. I have not had to change my tire since buying my bike. Ironically, the Team in Training coaches had a planned tire changing clinic for after the group ride! (Mini shout-out to the coaches that stopped to help me out and make sure I was okay.) It turns out more than five people had flat tires along the course on Saturday. That seems like a mighty high number.

Let us give that a second try

Tire mended, I took off to reach the rest of the riders. As soon as I hit the main road there are a few of the faster riders passing by. They just completed seven miles at a great pace. I will confess though, I was baffled – there were only two sections of the bike course where you could keep a fast pace. There were so many potholes that I barely had time to look up and enjoy the fields of hay, the blue sky and the peace around me. One guy said after the race – “I don’t think I’ll be able to have kids after that course.” The road was bumpy. I get the sense that today is not my best day for riding.

I completed one lap of the course and headed back to the park (approximately 13 miles). Quickly throwing off my helmet, cycling shoes and gloves, I donned my running shoes, grab some water and took off for the running course.

Enough said – I ran the course which turns out to be really hard for me. I don’t really know why I had difficulty running. Maybe I didn’t hydrate properly. The loop was about 1.1 or 1.2 miles and I clocked in 12 minute miles…I swear I was running. I ran two laps and called it a day.

Total workout ~15 miles. Not bad before 10 a.m. I’ll boost up the mileage next weekend barring any additional mishaps.

All in all – training was fun and riddled with hiccups this weekend. One of the coaches said at the beginning of training that there are few things you can control in life, but what you can control is your attitude. I’m happy that I stayed positive, took away some new skills and know a few areas to work on. I want to put my new skills to use and practice changing my tires and more running after biking.

I’ll make sure to join the group workout faster, better, stronger next weekend.


I am racing in the Nation’s Triathlon to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people facing Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans currently facing a blood cancer by funding research, treatments and support. Please donate to support this cause. Any amount is greatly




2 thoughts on “A brick, a flat, a day of conquered challenges

  1. Hey bro,

    This is one of your team in training partners. Nice blog! I enjoyed reading it on a break. The blog, the BBQ, everything else… you seem to be one step ahead of me. Good luck and see you on Saturday.


    Posted by Eric Casper | July 16, 2009, 4:17 pm
  2. Hey Matt —

    I missed the practice on Sat, are you going to be at this Sat’s practice? I need to learn how to change a tire myself, and now that you are a pro – you should help me out. 🙂

    Hopefully, see you soon!


    Posted by Ashley | July 17, 2009, 2:02 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


I hope you enjoy my personal blog. I'll publish posts on various topics and voice my opinions on an eclectic array of things.

Find me on Twitter @mbingram

Subscribe via RSS



Blog Created On: July 28, 2008 E-mail: crossover65@hotmail.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1 other follower

%d bloggers like this: