Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why Don't We Do It In The Road....

Yep, that's a Beatles song. Although for me, it was a celebration of getting out on the skinny-tired bike last week Tuesday.  What made it even better was that I hadn't planned on being able to ride and had planned on suffering on the bike that goes nowhere.

Turns out, we weren't going to be watching the grandkids this week after all and when I mentioned to my better half that I was thinking of riding Diablo with the Tuesday group she encouraged me to do so. (evidently my lack of riding has affected my attitude a bit)

I didn't have a lot of time though so I was only able to go to the junction and back and not all the way to the summit. Yes, time was my issue, not my fitness..(that's my story...) I actually felt surprisingly good considering how little I've been riding and although I know I was slow, I was able to get my heart rate up and keep it there without blowing up. I think it helped knowing I was only going to the junction and didn't need to keep anything in the tank. It's just under 7 miles to the junction and I was pretty sure I could go fairly hard and not die in that distance. The nice part is the second half is all down hill.

It was a really nice night not too breezy which allowed for shorts and short sleeves the entire way up and back. Usually at this time of the year, I need a jacket for the downhill and sometimes even the climb. Last week was the exception.

We didn't see many riders on the way up which with the nice weather was a bit of a surprise. Just as we were commenting on it at the junction, a large group of at least 50+ riders came up the hill. Evidently it was a memorial ride for someone that had passed away and the group, although large, was pretty subdued and quiet.

As with any trip up the mountain, the downhill is my favorite part. Lynn and Chris decided to head up a bit further and Xing, like me had places to be so was heading down. The nice part about being closer to 200lbs  than I am to 150, is that the downhills are an area I can shine. Xing and Chris had pretty much dropped me right outta the gate on the climb, but on the downhill portion, I was the one waiting....evidently when you combine a large body of mass with a small amount of brain cells, you get a fast descending rider.

All in all, it was a great ride and my time although not my fastest, was decent for me and it was a great chance to get out, do some climbing, blow out the cobwebs and push my heart rate up for a while....
15 miles almost 1800ft of climbing...beautiful evening!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Riding to Nowhere...

Once again, my post will start with excuses and lame attempts to justify my lack of fitness this year. Life continues to be busy and seems to either infringe on my riding opportunities or affect my attitude to the point that I don't want to ride.

I know a more determined or focused person would dig up the wherewithal to get the miles in somehow, but I've been struggling to find the time and when I do find the time, the motivation evades me. This week though, I'm recommitted. My buddy and his wife have been on some crazy cleansing diet and he's dropped enough weight over the last several weeks that I'm sincerely concerned about keeping up with him....evidently where my drive and focus fail, my competitiveness picks up.
Add to that another buddy's attempt this coming weekend to complete the Huracan 300 in FL and I've got enough peer pressure to pass for motivation. I'm determined to force myself to get some miles under my butt.

Still, life this week has prevented me from riding on the trails. Between work hours, evening meetings and babysitting the grandkids, the time just hasn't worked. Instead, I've been channeling this little sliver of motivation into the garage where I slave away on the spin bike, or as I refer to it the bike that goes nowhere.

I love riding my bike and the spin bike is a pretty decent workout when I can't get out. It provides a good sweat, you can crank up the tension to simulate hills or stand and hammer and you'd think with the music on and the sweat flowing I'd be happy to at least be doing this.....but the truth is, I hate it. I've had this thing for over a year and I can count on one hand the number of times I've ridden it. (Four times....and 3 of them are this week.)

I'm not sure what it is that drives me crazy on this thing, probably my inability to focus, or sit still (ADD much?) but every time I've ridden it, it's killed me. I figure it's been 30 minutes and look at the clock to find it's only been 10. I get bored easily and sitting in my garage, with no scenery and only the whirring of the pedals and flywheel providing a backbeat for whatever is playing on my ipod is more like torture than exercise. Granted I have some friends that would argue that exercise is more like torture than exercise no matter what form it takes.

Last night, in an attempt to distract myself I brought out my kindle. And that helped somewhat but even still, with the kindle, 45 minutes felt like hours. I've heard of spinervals and other dvd options and today on my lunch break I spent some time going through YouTube offerings. Maybe I'll give that a try and see if it helps.

I need to get out....see trees, suffer up climbs, enjoy some descents, blow out the cobwebs.....hopefully this weekend I can get some time in the saddle....