Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday bike

I will not inflict on you all of the huge number of cycling-related thoughts that burst upon my consciousness as I rode my bike this morning. I am freezing, starving and unshowered, and I have a limited amount of time only to remedy the situation!

A few highlights (I was probably riding for about an hour and a half, not much good for fitness but good for confidence):

1. I am designing this week the Evil Week of the Bike.

2. I am almost ready to face the thought of biking to and from the park instead of walking my bike over there like a baby and changing into my bike shoes at the foot of Harlem Hill!

3. I figured I might as well have the real baby session I should have had months ago, so I went to the 102nd St. Transverse (a nice short little stretch of road with pretty much no activity) and just practiced clipping and unclipping, getting more comfortable with a 180-degree turn, etc. etc. Hmmm, calmness-inducing...

4. After that I rode a couple loops at an easy pace. I think this is the first time I have not felt the need for utter death-grip on the brakes. Much more relaxed than any time previously, possibly as direct result of tranverse session. That is good.

5. The speedometer has stopped working again! I noticed it as I was going over there--cadence wasn't working either. I sort of poked everything around, and cadence is OK now. That is certainly the more important one of the two for me. Will delve into things online and see if I can figure out what to do about this--most annoying. But if I have to, I will take a zen-like attitude and figure speed is not in itself hugely relevant...

6. So really the most important thing is to cultivate that little germ of affection for the bike, more important at this point than fitness! But the point of evil week of bike is that this really is the last week to do much good with fitness, so if I can, I should do some more indoor cycling at the gym at more intense levels to make up for the fact that my rides outside will be more confidence-building than anything else. Wouldn't be a bad idea to have two-a-day (one outdoor, one indoor) any day this week and early next when it is actually possible. I will keep Thursday, though, as a real day off.

7. I will do a real long ride in the park on Sunday morning, keeping track of time and distance and getting a better sense of effort levels etc. It is a much hillier course than the actual Florida one, it is not in any sense comparable, but if I can't get speeds from the computer I should at least get some idea...

8. It was kind of rainy, but more like drizzle than actual rain. Kind of freezing, too... but it is worth it because of how the park is so much less crowded.

9. I do think that one of these days I will find myself fully in love with the bicycle. (I am full of admiration for this particular bicycle, it is a rather lovely creature, very slim and strong and responsive--I think I must just think of my goal for the race being to let it have its way!) But the fact is I am just not a person with a strong urge to go places! I am the kind of person who deals with stressful or depressing situations not by going elsewhere but by lying in bed and going someplace by reading a book, that is never going to change. I do not even have a driver's license! I have no impulse to roam! I do not think this is an obstacle, but it means I do not have the urge that makes many people particularly enjoy cycling...

10. I am at least temporarily filled with a sense of calmness about this actual race. It is easy to get caught up in complicated stuff, but in a strictly rational sense the only thing I need to do is use this lovely machine (which was designed to go quite fast with relatively little effort and very fast if one actually knew what one was doing) to cover 56 miles within the time limit and while hydrating/refueling in some way that will allow me to run a half-marathon afterwards. I am fully capable of doing this. My only time goal is that I know I will be anxious if I'm really bumping up against the cutoff, but I am fairly certain the time cutoff on the bike course will not be an issue, it is generous. I spent some time last night perusing the race results from last year and I find it implausible that I will actually have a four-hour ride, I am thinking somewhere between 3:30 and 3:45 is considerably more likely. Let us see if I can get that computer working again and get some sense of speeds on the flats. But whatever...

2 comments:

Wendy said...

EWOTB! (And yay for losing the death grip!)

Leah said...

I love how you make the connection between not being a person who feels the need to roam with your attitude toward the bike. I am totally the opposite, which is absolutely why I love to ride! Good you got out. You actually sound like a natural on the bike (all the right appreciations and perceptions). One day it will be as blissful as any swim, I'm sure. :)