The last time I took a day of from cycling was July 11th, 26 days ago. In that time I’ve put 838 miles on my bike – and I’ve got a
40 26 miler that I’ll be heading out on in a few hours and the Assenmacher pre-ride tomorrow morning (100 miles)… In other words, just shy of 1,000 miles in 28 days at an average pace north of 18 mph.
I have achieved perfection – I’m as fast as I want to be on the fast days, enjoy three slow days a week (though because my wife is getting faster, the average on those slow days has crept up from 15 mph to 17 or better) and I feel surprisingly excellent.
This experiment hasn’t been without its challenges though. I’ve cycled through on-and-off minor Achilles’ soreness and after last week’s Mountain Mayhem I thought I was done… That was last Saturday and I was truly sore and tired on Sunday. And Monday. Come Tuesday I had no desire to push it at the club ride. I did push it, but I certainly was lacking in want to, at least in the first ten miles. On Wednesday I rode pretty hard for an off day, mainly because I was dissatisfied with my attitude on Tuesday. Then Thursday and Friday were blessedly easy, barely over a 16 mph average, and I’m feeling much better this morning.
So far riding like this, daily, has come down to a give-and-take choice. Last year I was taking off one day a week but I was a lot faster throughout the week because I didn’t ride with my wife as much. On the other hand, I gave up some pretty nice days to rest last year. Not only that, now that my wife has her legs about her, riding together is much more rewarding than being able to type in a 20 mph average over 16 miles – especially when that extra fast day or two during the week doesn’t translate into faster times on the two days that actually matter (Tuesday and one weekend ride).
Cycling gives me an escape. For an hour a day, and a few hours each weekend day, I don’t have to think. Just pedal and smile. It gives me time to talk with my wife that we never had room for in the past. It gives me time to be happy.
That’s really the ticket. I don’t ride every day for fitness or to meet a goal. I ride every day because it makes me happy, and for that I am grateful.
Perfection is achievable… It just didn’t take the form I thought it would when I set to trying to reach it.