I was expecting to come out of the gates flying this year. Whether it’s youthful exuberance (in cycling terms I’d call me young) or ignorance, I won’t bother trying to figure it out. After my first couple of rides on the mountain bike, which were quite fast by my standards, I figured I’d be good to roll without much time getting used to the saddle again.
Oh how mistaken I was. My first day back on the road bike, I thought I worked pretty hard and only ended up with a 17.1 mph average. It was exceptionally windy that day, but 17 mph?!!!. My next two days were a little better at 18.3 and 18.5 averages, but still quite slow by my standards, those last two were just over recovery paces last year.
Well, yesterday was a little more like it. Last week I figured I’d need a couple of weeks to get my legs back so I stopped giving it free rent in the melon. Fast forward to yesterday afternoon: 40 degrees (F) but sunny, 10 mph wind, WNW but it felt like 27. In other words it was cold and with that stiff breeze out of the West and North it was biting on the bike. To start I always do a quick quarter mile loop so that I finish right at 16 miles at my driveway. I pulled out of the driveway and turned South and I actually said aloud, “hey, this isn’t going to be so bad”… Then I turned around and headed North. Oh yes it was that bad. Even with full wrap sunglasses on my eyes immediately started to water and I could feel a bit of a sting on my exposed face. That called for ‘base miles’ or just a nice leisurely spin, translated.
I put the phone in the back pocket and rode in the drops for most of the first half, when I turned at mile ten, to ride with the wind, I sat up and just cruised. I could actually feel the backs if my legs cool down with the wind now hitting them as I pedaled. Man was it cold. I pulled into my driveway with a 17.5 mph average, but I didn’t work hard at all, even into the wind. I had plenty left. Considering the conditions, that’s a lot more like it. Still a bit slow, but for the amount of work I put into it, The results made sense.
Now, I wrote that first bit yesterday when my goosebumps still had goosebumps (knowing I wouldn’t publish it till this morning). Fast forward to this morning and I get out of bed and see my bike sitting in the corner next to the wife’s and I’m thinking about how much I love that bike and how thankful I was to go on that ride yesterday (and how thankful I am that all of my body parts work right so I can do this)… Every once in a while, when the conditions are right (or wrong?), I like to just put the tracking software away and enjoy the ride as much as possible. Yesterday was a great example of why – I ended up enjoying a ride that would have made me scratch my head wondering why I was slow but worked so hard (it would have been the cold of course – muscles don’t work as efficiently cold). In other words, sometimes working out sucks at the time, but I’ve never been disappointed after the goose bumps fade to a memory.
*It must be stated, my cycling tights are cool weather, not cold weather tights. If I ride in conditions below 40 degrees I freeze my butt off. Better tights or leg warmers are next on the short-list but I have always put in enough time on the saddle to take the cold days off in the spring without worrying about it too much so proper cold weather gear was pretty far down on the list of stuff I had to have.
That’s right, I got two hits from The Isle of Man the other day… I know I’ve made it now! Life just doesn’t get any better than that.
Or does it?
Search term of the year that led someone to my blog:
“the bgddy teen sexy”
I was a teen 23 years ago, but I’m willing to forgive the error!