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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4 Comments so far
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Keep on it Scott.
That is one reason that I am trying to continue riding throughout the winter, I don’t want to have to start all over again with the conditioning. Plus I think I am kind of addicted to riding :-).
My goal this year is to put more miles on my bikes then on my truck. So hopefully the weather continues to cooperate.

Comment by Bobby D

I’ve read where taking two weeks off is about the max you can take before losing fitness gains (that was in a running book). You’ll be back up to speed in no time.

Greg

Comment by Greg

Thanks for the encouragement! Each day’s ride has been a little better than the one before. In fact, I think the mental game is a lot harder than the physical game. I always have to remind myself to focus on enjoying the ride, not just getting to the destination.

Comment by Scott

It may take 2 weeks to lose your fitness, but it took me just 2 weeks to regain my fitness too. This is my second week cycling and I’ve not felt this energized for a while now.

Comment by Wei




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