Jacque Anquetil's 1962 Tour de France Winning Bike

Monday, August 29, 2011

Last Week and Why Am I Doing This?

Eight days ago, on Sunday, I rode a century.  Monday was a mellow half an hour of recovery.  Tuesday, I did a hard class.  Since then, it’s been daily half an hour on a trainer just to keep the streak alive.  OK, I was traveling and didn’t have access to acceptable riding weather (high of 117), cycling shoes, or time.  But on Wednesday I was on the trainer for half an hour after work.  On Thursday, I was on the trainer for half an hour before my early afternoon flight.  On Friday, I rode half an hour in 90+ degree weather around my father-in-law’s subdivision in Palm Springs.  On Saturday, I rode an exercise bike for half an hour at a gym in Temecula.  Finally, yesterday, I rode the trainer for half an hour at home in front of the TV with the Vuelta playing.  After I got off the bike, I began to wonder about the purpose of this.  Yes, I resolved to ride every day of my 50th year and, yes, this riding – done smartly – is keeping me strong and healthy, but this half an hour at a time indoors business is boring, marginally productive, and is done just to maintain the streak.  I wasn’t having fun on these rides, although riding around a Palm Springs golf course community in tennis shoes at a slow speed was strangely peaceful.  I recognize that the trip caused a significant portion of the boredom, but trip or no trip, it was boring.  I say all this as a preamble to a resolution to keep cycling during this streak fun as much as I can.

And today, day 60, was a 60-minute VeloSF suffer-fest, which was fun in its own, perverse, way.  Fun, if emerging from an interval on the verge of throwing up is your idea of fun; it must be mine.  Strange, perhaps because today’s intervals were high-cadence affairs, these intervals felt OK during, not so OK after.

Oh, and one more thing: I gained a bunch of weight during my sedentary recuperation and from driving to work, rather than walking to and from public transit.  Two weeks ago, I went off bread and sugar and began eating smaller portions.  I am happy to report a loss of five pounds.  Another eight and I’ll be content.


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