Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

I’m Not Hard Core

Photo on 2010-04-22 at 14.06 #2.jpg

Though sometimes I try to be.

How is that after every single bike ride my right leg turns black? Every time and only my right. These “battle marks” make me feel like I’m a hard core cyclist but I know deep down I’m not. Take today for example. Perfectly gorgeous day in Northern California. It’s 73 degrees. The sun is out. I’m biking through Alexander Valley, enjoying the flowers and the hills and the vineyards just starting to wake up after a cold rainy winter.

But then, on my left comes a pack of cyclists. I’ve never ridden in a pack before. I don’t know what to do. I slow down and smile in my hand-me-down bike clothes. Secretly I’m hoping they don’t a) hit me because clearly I’m going 20 mph slower than they are b) run me off the side of the mountain or c) laugh at me with my blond pigtails and pockets stuffed with essentials such as lip balm, shot blox and iphone.

But they just wave friendly hellos and tell me “I’m okay and have lots of room”. Did I look like I wasn’t okay? Were my white knuckles so blazingly apparent or did they see the line of my underwear through my spandex shorts? Yes, I wear underwear underneath my bike shorts. I am a lady after all!

That was pack one.

I came across pack two while I was stopped near a farm, one foot clipped in and the other balancing on the road. I was enjoying the scenery and eating two energy blocks at my leisure.

ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU OKAY? Their shouts echo and almost cause me to lose my balance and topple over.

Suddenly about fifteen cyclists surround me. I shrink back and fake a big laugh. Oh yeah, just enjoying the scenery!

They leave me in the dust.

No big deal.

And so it goes. But I did ride 27 miles!

Lunch was a sunshine burger on a bagel thin with laughing cow cheese and a grapefruit:

After my ride I had a protein shake with a scoop of Designer Whey, 1 cup almond milk and half a frozen banana. I’m out of spinach! The horror!

I’m off to scrub my right leg.

You Might Also Like

  • Abbey
    April 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    you must have a webcam that flips the image…i know the comments are coming that “that isn’t your right leg!” when it clearly is. LOL

    don’t worry about the bikers, you’re the coolest one out there XD you sound like the most fun to bike with!!!! <3

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    April 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Haha that’s so funny! You know, i’ve always wondered about the whole underwear deal with spandex and other exercise clothes that are skin tight. It’s like well… I don’t want to NOT wear but then again I hate the lines. Gah.
    And girl, you ARE hardcore!

  • Meghan@traveleatlove
    April 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I would say you are so hard core! You do a LOT of really difficult and neat things and do them well. Its okay to be tough AND have pigtails 🙂
    I love how muddy my legs get after what my XC team and I used to call puddle runs, jumping in as many puddles as possible, on purpose.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    April 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Heck, I’d say biking 27miles is harcore! I couldn’t bike 6 without dying of pain 😛

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    April 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    that would SO be me…except the massive packs of riders? yeah, those would be the people i work with…YIKES!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    April 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Haha i think you’re pretty hardcore. I’m about to go out for a bikeride myself and its in the 70s and sunny here in DC, too! And afterwards I’m definitely going to have a green smoothie…. yum.

  • Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    April 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    hahahaha thats so funny…I’d probably feel the same way too though If I did that. BUt keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    April 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    hahahaha thats so funny…I’d probably feel the same way too though If I did that. BUt keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Diana
    April 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Riding 27 miles sounds pretty hardcore to me. 🙂

  • Evan Thomas
    April 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Talk about getting back on the horse(or bike). Glad you’re OK and keep on cycling!

  • Cyndi
    April 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I’m impressed with your perseverance – wow!

    I’m definitely saving that chili recipe (earlier post) for a cool weekend. Love the step by step instructions.

    Just to clarify my earlier comment about your desperate dash for the wine – I told you to sleep on it – don’t get me wrong, I LOVE wine! That’s just advice I’ve given to myself when I feel the need to run out when I’d be well off with something else … sorry if you misinterpreted my comment.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    April 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    haha yes those packs can be scary! I have ridden IN a pack before too and that is VERY scary too!!!

  • Lisa
    April 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    That’s funny! I am reminded every time I ride with my boyfriend that I am NOT hardcore. I get so nervous and I’m SCARED going fast downhill! I hate it!

  • Ann @ Appalachian Appetites
    April 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I think the black stuff is from the gears, no?! But definitely means you’re hardcore 🙂

  • Annie
    April 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Don’t beat yourself up! The majority of people can’t make it to 27 miles! 🙂 You rocked!

  • Jil
    April 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    You ARE hardcore! Way hardcore than me! 🙂

  • Mama Pea
    April 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    You can never get in trouble for wearing too much underwear, in my book.

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    April 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    You are seriously hardcore!!

  • Marie
    April 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    jenna, I like that you tell it how it is (re: the packs of cyclists). great job on building your mileage!

  • Tiffany
    April 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Yes, you ARE hardcore, b/c you rode 27 more miles than I did today … or ever =P

    So jealous that it’s 73 degrees in wine country! I’ve been suffering through mid 50’s and rainy/windy in not so Sunny San Diego today =(

  • laura
    April 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    (so I’m a pretty new reader, and I’ve got to say, of all of the food/exercise/health blogs I read, you are my favorite. I think it’s because here, the healthy is so completely, utterly dependent on the living. it’s sweet, and funny, and endlessly inspiring.)

  • steph-exercise physiologist and artist!
    April 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    ALL of that is PRECISELY why you are sooooooo much more hardcore than any of those bikers in their packs going fast in $200 shorts (j/k bikers!) 🙂
    You ARE the most awesome biker out in those hills. FOR SURE!! 🙂 i saw the biking hats that someone made. TOO cute!
    Pigtails ROCK. You completing 27 miles at any speed ROCKS. and the fact that you a) didn’t get run over. b) didn’t careen down the Mt. and c) well c would just never happen because again Pigtails Rock and who wouldn’t want/need iphone shot blox and lip balm… essentials!!! Makes you Hard Core no pretending there b/c you just are 🙂 and you are cute while doing it too. extra points there b/c that is hard to do! haha 🙂

  • Holly
    April 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Hey Jenna- I started using frozen bagged spinach for my smoothies and you can’t tell the difference. It’s great because it keeps so much longer in the freezer, is FAR cheaper than fresh, and i actually probably more *fresh* than the actual fresh stuff I can get 🙂

  • Cyclist Kate
    April 22, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Alright sister, I tell you this because I’m your (internet) friend: those black marks? They’re called rookie marks. And those plus the underwear lines are a dead giveaway to those other cyclists that you’re a newbie. Now, it’s totally possible that you’re not as concerned with looking like a cool, experienced cyclist as I am (ha! for real. I’m such a schmuck), but just thought I’d let you know! I wish somebody had told me this before I walked around all the time with rookie marks ’cause I thought they made me look hard core instead of like a ditz. Haha. Ridiculous.

    But for real, consider looking the underthings under your shorts! You’ll get used to it and pretty soon won’t even notice it.

    Have fun out there!!!

  • Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle
    April 22, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    27 is hardcore! No matter how often you stop to enjoy the scenery. For someone in their first riding “season,” that sounds like youre doing great. Is the chain on the right side? That’s probably chain grease 🙂

  • Cyclist Kate
    April 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Oh, also, the marks are on your right leg because the cog with all it’s nasty black grease is on the right side of your bike. This just means you’re not watching your leg movement enough and it’s swinging in and bumping into the chain or some other part that has grease on it instead of staying in a straight line from hip->knee->ankle. If for nothing else, it’s a good reminder to maintain that form so you don’t hurt yourself (since cycling is so repetitive, having poor form can lead to injuries pretty quickly).

  • Cyclist Kate
    April 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Oops–“losing” instead of “looking” in my first comment, and you’re bumping your leg into the chainring, not the cog. Doy.

  • theemptynutjar
    April 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Wow – u are amazing for you can do.

    I went for a short walk today (after a long day)…and that is all I ever do…walk. ..seriously. Trying to appreciate just that. You are pretty amazing jenna.

  • eatmovelove
    April 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Yeah I agree you are hard-core! I’m the same way just in my job – I shrink back in life. Blah. If you ever find that job to pay the government, find one for me too would ya?? 😉

  • Lisa
    April 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    girl, don’t wear undies with your bike shorts! Seriously, your lady bits will thank you, especially as your rides get longer. This post cracked me up, it seems like I can’t go within a foot of my bike without getting black grease marks all over!

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    April 22, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Definitely nice to stop and enjoy the view! It’s stunning scenery, take it in. 😀

  • Meg
    April 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    So I’m new to the whole cycling thing too, but my bf is a serious biker and he shared with me an important reason to wear the bike shorts alone. The chamois material is super wicking, so you’re supposed to wear them without anything under them to keep the lady parts from getting too damp, where bad things can happen. Cotton is just not idea for long rides, from that sense (though I must admit it took me a few rides to be comfortable with that also!) just in case a practical reason helps.

  • Katy ( The Balanced Foodie)
    April 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I loved this. Especially the image of 15 cyclists asking if you were okay. I had a flashback to “Finding Nemo” and the millions of birds chanting “mine, mine, mine”. You’re great!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    April 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Your 27 miles is impressive…hard core or not.

    And I used to wear underwear when working out but after ditching it for a week I could never go back. No more wedgies.

  • Katherine
    April 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    …looks pretty hardcore to me…

    love the serving presentation for the smoothie!

  • MMiller
    April 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I would also say you ARE hardcore Jenna! You do so much! And wow, 27 miles?! My first thought on the marks was also grease from the chain, but what do I know, I’m not a biker! And wear whatever you are comfortable in! You rock, Jenna! I have a cousin, who is also a newer grandma) who wears pigtails when she does race stuff! I’m sure you looked great!

  • Jaimers
    April 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Oh I am so glad I’m not the only one who thinks silly self-conscious thoughts when I exercise!! 🙂
    Congrats on a nice ride! 27 miles is quite a trek.

  • Amy
    April 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I agree with Cyclist Kate – the black marks and underwear lines a rookie giveaway! I used to have both, so no worries (I’ve been cycling about 5 years now). Just have fun out there. Try not to be intimidated by everyone else. Also – it’s very common for people to ask if you’re ok when you’re stopped on the side of the road. It’s not because they think you’re a bad cyclist – it’s because you might have a flat and need help. 27 miles is awesome! I remember the first time I did a ride that long. Now I’m about to do the Ironman triathlon, so trust me that you will be able to go longer :). Great job!

  • Lizz @ leadingthegoodlife
    April 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Great ride! I’m glad you’re able to stop and take in the beautiful scenery, if that’s what you want to do. It’s much harder to get out there if you don’t enjoy it!

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    April 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I haven’t ever come across a pack while riding but it would probably scare the crap out of me!

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble
    April 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Haha! That’s great! Don’t you love that they were so concerned though! I probably would have been scared of a pack that sneaked up on me too!

  • M(a different M than the other M!!)
    April 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Love all the “no undie” advice posts!
    Obviously there is lot more details to biking these days when one is HARDCORE like YOU …..throw those undies to the wind I guess girl! Biking is a daring sport-ha! 😉

  • Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/
    April 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I don’t know biking etiquette, but I wonder what everyone was so concerned about? It sounds like the temp and scenery were just right for a great ride.

  • Lynn
    April 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I also support the lose the undies movement. And, when I had black marks from the chain when I first started biking, a guy told me they were called “rookie tatooes!” I started paying attention after that. They often happen when you are getting on and off the bike.

  • FitFoodie Natalie
    April 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Biking in Alexander Valley sounds amazing…even with packs 😉

    I have been out of the blog world for the past 8 months or so…I’m glad to see you made it out to Wine Country!!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    April 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    27 miles to me = hard core. Case closed.

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    April 22, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    You’ll get there one day! And hey, 27 miles ain’t nothin’! You’re doing great!


  • Kelly
    April 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I’m the same way on my bike- very not hardcore. Also I have the same bike shoes as you. Oh, and I absolutely wear underwear under bike shorts.

  • allison @ thesundayflog
    April 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    hahahahahaha jenna, i seriously just laughed through this whole post!! first, HOW did you take that picture of your ankles?? hahaha cracks me up. i am just giggling picturing those scenes unfold on the road!! i guess something about you screams amature rider – i can only imagine what i would look like! your essentials are…well, essentials! and yes, i wear underwear under my spinning shorts too. creeps me out. so glad you had a nice ride, and you sandwich looks great! are the bagel flats more bread-ish or bagel-ish? great to hear your spirits are up!!

  • allison @ thesundayflog
    April 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    ps. maybe a way to beat the “rookie marks” is to wear high socks! then just push them down when a pack comes along 😉

  • Karen
    April 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    oh great, here I am thinking I’m cool, out there racking up the miles, did 27 also today, I was even able to keep up with some packs of cyclers for about 1/4 mile, all the while I’m wearing underwear under my spandex, guess I’m not cool….Have no idea where you’re getting the grease from, I get mine on the other side from the chain which I’m told must be cleaned about every 100 miles….Glad you’re having fun with the biking.

  • Lisa
    April 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you, Jenna, for just being you! Rookie, hardcore, whatever! Just enjoy!

  • Julie @savvyeats
    April 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I actually like that cyclists always ask if you are okay when you stop on the side of the road… it is comforting to know that if something DOES go wrong (blown tire, accident, whatever), someone will stop to help you! That being said, it can be awkward when all you are doing is stopping for some fuel. 🙂

  • Candice
    April 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    You are totally inspiring me to start biking. I guess I need to get a bike first, though:) Who cares if you appear to be an amateur…that’s half the fun in my opinion! ha! Plus, you are so hard core compared to most of the rest of us who couldn’t make it five miles.

  • amanda
    April 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I love it!!! I have some battle marks on my legs to from running and had a few falls before. Take them with pride! BTW, the sandwich looked yummy!

  • Lindsay
    April 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    So glad so many other commenters explained why you should not wear underwear under bike shorts (or tri shorts)…was trying to figure out how to word it without getting too specific!!! Many commenters before me took care of this – love the lady parts description 🙂

    As they all said – for your own good (not because of panty lines!) lose the underwear when wearing bike shorts!

  • Sara
    April 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Your first story reminds me of something that happened to me when I was running last summer (or the summer before): I said “excuse me” to a man as I passed him. He responded with, “It’s OK, you’re not that fast.” Um, I just wanted to be polite as I passed you on the street. Thanks for pointing that out, though.

  • Ally
    April 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    haha, Jenna I think a couple of other people might have commented on it as well but I have been loving your blog posts lately. Great job on the bike ride!!

  • Rika
    April 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve been liking your writing style in your posts recently 😀 they tell more of a story and its involving-

  • Madeline @ Greens and Jeans
    April 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    As a gal who sells bike gear for a living (and has ridden thousands of miles)- ditch the undies girl! I promise, unless you get a massive tear in your shorts no one will ever be able to see through them and you’ll get the full benefit of the chamois (aka the thing that makes you feel like you are wearing a diaper) in the shorts

  • Nora@LiveLifeEatRight
    April 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    AW! hahaha Been there done that. As long as you have a smile and a laugh that’s all that matters! Plus, you totally look the part girl…hard core through and through! And still keeping it classy and real with a protein shake in a wine glass. I HIGHLY approve!

  • jeannie
    April 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    ha! I often feel like that on the streets of Portland, where I just mash about town on my ’74 Schwinn. I went in to get new tires tonight and felt sooo inadequate. The ride sounds pretty!!

  • Kendall
    April 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Love the photo.

    I think I may have a crush on you…I have a reader full of unread blogs, but for some reason, I always skip through to your posts. 🙂

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    April 22, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    IMpressive, girl! I think you’re hardcore. 🙂

  • Amanda
    April 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    You should have started the post with a really hard core story about wrestling a bear on your bike ride and other stuff. Then fessed up the truth : )

  • Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat.
    April 23, 2010 at 2:53 am

    So what if you are not as hard core as those pack bikers? Do what you love.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    April 23, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Way to get a good ride in! I get really nervous cycling around anyone else- when you’re running, at least you have two feet firmly on the ground and you’re not going to topple over if you brush someone’s shoulder…. Hey I still think you’re hardcore- that’s a long bike ride!

  • Teri [a foodie stays fit]
    April 23, 2010 at 6:37 am

    the cycling community seems so friendly. i think it’s so sweet the 2nd pack checked on you. 🙂

  • Michelle @ NewLeafEats
    April 23, 2010 at 6:42 am

    I have no idea why, but I get marks on the back of my right leg when I ride, too!

  • Sonja
    April 23, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I’ve been following you for sometime now and I find you rather hilarious haha

    but I thought this would be a great time to come out of lurking and tell you that I think you’re pretty bad ass for cycling 27 miles!!

    Seriously. that’s awesome! 🙂

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion
    April 23, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Cute stories! In my opinion…you are pretty hard core 🙂

  • jdw
    April 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

    please don’t wear undies while cycling! not needed as long as you’ve got good quality shorts with a chamois! 🙂

  • Bree@beeskneeslife
    April 23, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I just cycle for leisure mostly, but am so not hardcore that no one would confuse me for someone who is. My bike is the giveaway! Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it all the same.

    p.s. I don’t own cycling shorts, but I do wear underwear under all my running and workout shorts and pants that you are not supposed to wear underwear with. I just can’t do it! I don’t feel comfortable.

  • Chelsea @ Ask Fitness Coach
    April 24, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I went on a bike ride this morning and had the same experience! Stopped to enjoy a view of the mountains and have a snack, and a hoard of cyclists paused to ask if I was OK. I guess ‘novice’ shows up in the gear. Fun to come by your post.

    P.S. I haven’t transitioned to cycling without panties either.

  • Erika
    April 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    One of the things I love about cyclists is that we don’t leave our fellow cyclists stranded…..if you see someone alone, you always check in to make sure they are ok…ESPECIALLY if they are standing at the side of the road (even if just to enjoy scenery)…..always nice because one of the times you are stranded on the side of the road with a flat, you WANT someone to ask if you are ok, and then they can stop and help change the flat 🙂 HEe hee….cyclings so fun…it’s a solo sport filled with a wonderful comradarie….wouldn’t trade it for anything. HUGS

  • Corinne
    April 26, 2010 at 10:28 am

    i feel like that too sometimes…me in my non “running” cap, me in my cotton non dry wick t shirts when i haven’t done laundry in a while. ha. oh well YOU ARE OUT THERE AND DOING IT right?! and smelling the roses as you go! 🙂

  • eatingRD
    April 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    haha so true, I always seem to get some killer ‘tattoos’ on my legs no matter what, and that grease stuff is so hard to get off! Riding in groups is kind of different, but it’s actually really nice when you can catch a draft and go much faster than alone, it’s really quite powerful and invigorating! Awesome miles, I’m working up to 65 this weekend, but we shall see.

  • Scott
    April 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    You’re a cyclist now!! Although the chain ring grease you are getting on your right leg gives you away as a rookie!! But you are welcome in the club nonetheless! Us cyclists are a friendly bunch for the most part – almost always slowing to ask if a fellow cyclist stopped on the side of the road needs a hand whether its a spare tube or some air. What goes around comes around and we believe in paying it forward.

    You should definitely try riding in a pack if you can…a group of cyclists that passes you by would be happy to have you join if you simply say hello, and maybe even ask “mind if I ride with you for a while.” Other cyclists don’t mind if your chatty either, it’s actually expected.

    And seriously, I’m not being fresh, but lose the underwear! As you begin to spend more hours on your bike, you will be MUCH more comfortable without them under your spandex, padded shorts – no chafing, no riding up, no sores/rubbing where the seams/stitching is!

  • Scott
    April 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    You’re a cyclist now!! Although the chain ring grease you are getting on your right leg gives you away as a rookie!! But you are welcome in the club nonetheless! Us cyclists are a friendly bunch for the most part – almost always slowing to ask if a fellow cyclist stopped on the side of the road needs a hand whether its a spare tube or some air. What goes around comes around and we believe in paying it forward.

    You should definitely try riding in a pack if you can…a group of cyclists that passes you by would be happy to have you join if you simply say hello, and maybe even ask “mind if I ride with you for a while.” Other cyclists don’t mind if your chatty either, it’s actually expected.

    And seriously, I’m not being fresh, but lose the underwear! As you begin to spend more hours on your bike, you will be MUCH more comfortable without them under your spandex, padded shorts – no chafing, no riding up, no sores/rubbing where the seams/stitching is!