Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring is HERE!!!....um…nevermind….

During the winter months, I can (and regularly do) use as the excuse for my added weight and lethargy (or do I have that backwards?) that it’s winter and thereby the “off season”.  This combined with an innate ability to procrastinate my way out of anything has allowed me to maintain one of my highest weights (and largest waistlines) in several years.

The reality though, is that by the time winter rolls around, I’m ready to be off the bike and on the couch a little more than I am during the nicer months. In season’s past I’ve used skiing as a lame attempt to stay fit but this year it’s been so crummy, I haven’t even been motivated to do that.

Oh sure, I’ve gotten several rides in and for the most part they’ve been “ok”….I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie and on a few the weather has been good and the scenery even better, but to be honest, the passion for the ride just hasn’t really been there. I would have been just as happy hanging out with those same friends at a restaurant over lunch and a couple beers…

This past weekend though, all of that changed. Jerry had scheduled one of my favorite rides. The Morgan Territory loop. This 50+ mile loop heads out of Danville, through Concord and around the backside of Mt Diablo into a little known and lightly traveled area of the East Bay Regional Park district that seems so remote it could be in another state.

This Saturday, unlike the past 3 weekends, held the promise of a beautiful Spring day and although we started out cold, the day quickly turned into one of those clear, sunshine filled days that make you want to work in the yard, barbecue, go to the beach or even….ride your bike.

You could tell we weren’t the only ones recovering from long-winter-itis too as San Ramon Valley Blvd had about 10x as many cyclists as they did cars and the section of the multi-use trail that we rode was like playing a video game of "dodge the jogger-walker-runners".
In addition to the beautiful weather, the challenging route and the complete lack of vehicle traffic for a major part of the ride, I have another motivator for getting back on the bike….I’ll be turning 50 next month. And, while achieving the half-century mark is a milestone in and of itself, I have decided that in order to celebrate said event, I and several of my friends, are going to ride our bicycles from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe over a period of 5 days.

Granted, for a lot of people this sounds more like a torture test than a celebration, but personally I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate an important occasion like this than to go out and do something most people think is REALLY stupid….afterall, you only turn 50 once right?

If you take the combination of the beautiful weather and the great scenery combined with the knowledge that I’m nowhere near in shape to ride from here to Tahoe …you get one of the best rides I’ve had in the last several months.

So, having had a great first real ride of the new season and fired up to get back on the bike in a big way, I was stoked to try to get out of work early a couple of evenings this week and get some more seat-time…..at least I was until I watched the news Sunday evening and saw rain predicted for the entire coming week……oh well, guess I need to stock up on cookies and figure out where I put the TV remote….I guess I can always get in shape while riding to Tahoe...

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