Drive My Bike


Great Weather, Not So Great Shape

The last couple of days brought some nice weather to ride in, at least compared to the very cold weather last week. When I rode to work last Monday it was 9 degrees. Monday and Tuesday of this week the temps were in the mid to upper 30s, which is still a bit cold, but that is almost 30 degrees warmer. For the ride home yesterday I had temps around 47 degrees, and it was beautiful.

The challenging part of the last couple of rides is that I notice that after not riding for almost a month I’m definitely not in the shape I was in before.

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It’s amazing how fast one’s fitness level can decrease. I was only away from riding for a few weeks, but I can definitely notice a difference. I can feel myself getting some strength back over the last couple of rides, but I have been very tired and my joints and muscles have been complaining a bit.

I did see another bike commuter yesterday morning, which is the first one I’ve seen since things started to get really cold. He was friendly, and had a very nice bike. He came up behind me near the start of my route, and then left me in the dust at the first stoplight, but then I was able to catch up with him while he was waiting for the last stoplight on my route. I was proud of this accomplishment, since he had a super light Specialized road bike, and I had my chromoly Trek mountain bike with probably twenty or thirty pounds of stuff in my panniers. We had some friendly conversation when I caught up with him, and then I wished him a good ride as I turned off for my office.

That little bit of friendly competition got my blood pumping, and showed me that I still had a good bit of strength and energy left, it just needed some strong coaxing to show itself.

What’s the best part about realizing that I’m not as fit as I was before vacation?

Knowing that to get back to where I was I really don’t have to do anything different. I got to that fitness level by riding my bike to work, so if I keep riding my bike to work again I should get back there soon.

I think that is one of the best perks of bike commuting on a regular basis… accidental fitness.

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Back Again And Long Overdue
January 11, 2009, 7:54 pm
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Well, I’m clearly past due on another post. I have been home from Christmas vacation for over a week now, but it has taken me a while to get back in the groove of day to day life.

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I was in Florida while on vacation, and it was interesting to see the differences in the biking environment compared to my home in Utah. Here are some things I noticed:

  • The roads are a lot less bike friendly. Lots of high traffic roads with no bike lanes and small shoulders.
  • The drivers seemed less bike friendly as well. I didn’t ride at all while I was there, so this is kind of an assumption based on my observations, and some conversation with a Florida bicyclist.
  • In spite of the above, I saw a lot of bicyclists. Large, small, old, young, rich, poor… bicyclists of all types were everywhere.
  • A lot of the bicyclists I saw were riding on the sidewalk, often going against traffic. Maybe this was a response to the less than optimal riding space on the roads.

So I have to give props to all you Florida bicyclists, but I’m glad I get to ride in Utah.

It was good to get home after being gone for over two weeks, but it has been a struggle to get back in the saddle on a regular basis.

It was 9 degrees last Monday when I ventured out for my first ride of the new year. Wow, that was my coldest ride yet, and yes… that was COLD! I got creative with my clothing and added a couple of extra layers. Some parts of me were too warm, some parts were just right, and some parts were numb. Add that to the fact that I felt pretty tired after not riding for a couple of weeks, and Monday’s ride was not very enjoyable.

I ended up working from home the rest of the week due to weather, so I haven’t ridden since then, but I’m planning on riding tomorrow morning. Temps are supposed to be in the high 20s. Hmmm… maybe bicycling in Florida wouldn’t be so bad after all. 🙂

Happy New Year, and thanks for reading.