May 31, 2008 Leave a comment
I know you have been waiting for the season to begin. I know I have. Me because I need the exercise and this is what I do. You so you can read about what my exploits (yea sure).
It started 5 weekends ago. Each of the first five rides were in unseasonably cold weather. Mid to upper 40s. I was cold from the moment I began to the moment I returned home. Typically I had on both tights and shorts, two shirts, a fleece and a jacket. Unfortunately when you want to be riding 100 in September it behooves you to start sooner rather than later.
The first ride was about 20 miles. I added a little each week. By the 4th week I rode in the neighborhood of 30.
For these first 5 rides I took my mountain bike. I have done this the last couple of years as my traditional warm-up. It normally serves two purposes. First, by starting with the heavier bike with the fatter tires I build up more muscle– I think– and then when I break out the road bike I fly.
The second, and more important, reason is that I avoid the tyranny of the numbers. My road bike has a trip computer. I am constantly aware of how far and how fast I am riding. In one sense this pushes me to do better. On the other hand some of the pure joy of riding is lost. I curse my inadequacies when I am going too slowly or my legs give out before I complete the distance I intended to cover. It is truly tyrannical. For the first few weeks I just take it as it comes. I can’t judge myself because there are no numbers staring me in the face. I am riding because I like to ride.
This year there has been a third reason to use the mountain bike. It has been wet as well as cold and the wider tires help with traction.
Last weekend I rode twice. First in Philly and then on Sunday I broke out the road bike. I felt fast. Wouldn’t know for sure. The battery went out in my trip computer. I am sure I did close to 40. Weather permitting the first ride in June should be 45. You will find out shortly after.
I guess you already knew that.
P.S. (For those of you who might have read this last night when I wrote it.) Could not wait for June. Rode 45ish this morning. First half into a strong wind. Felt Like a champion much of the way home with the wind at my back–until the last 3 miles. Ride wore me out. Took a 2 hour nap. Now I am heading for the couch.