Ear buds. I don’t understand why cyclists use them. I can understand them in the gym. Maybe. But on a bike?
For one thing, they are dangerous. You need to hear the traffic around you. Vehicles approaching from behind, cars pulling out of driveways, and children playing by the roadside. But more importantly, they take you out of the moment. You want to be in the moment, fully aware of your surroundings. Not only the sounds, but the smells, wind, warmth, and views. If you are listening to music while riding, you diminish the experience. You need to hear, and feel, your breathing. You need to feel the burn in your legs. You need to feel the wind in your face, and the warmth on your back. You need to smell the sweet corn fields as you pass.
You need to stay in the moment not only to stay safe, but to fully experience and enjoy the ride.
This morning when I awoke, my resting heart rate (RHR) was 31 bpm.
For me, that’s low. It is usually about 40 bpm. I monitor it almost daily. If it is on the high side, I plan a rest day. After yesterday’s long(er) ride, I expected it would be higher, and a recovery ride was in order. But no. I felt fine, did a series of all out sprints throughout the 35 km route. Telephone pole sprints! I sprint between the poles, then rest for the next, and then sprint again for several kilometres. They get harder as I go.
It seemed like the long(er) ride was a recovery ride 😂
I cycled just short of 80 km yesterday. My weekly long(er) ride. And afterward, I stopped for my habitual eggs, hash browns, toast, and coffee by the lake.
Some of the ride was at race pace. And, according to Strava, I even set a PR on one of my favourite stretches. A 7 km sprint on rollers. Fast. And fun. But half the ride was into a biting wind. I maintained a decent pace, but it wasn’t a lot of fun. A hurting wind zaps your energy.
I have company, and as a consequence, didn’t ride as much last week. Just 200 km. This week, I’ll step up both the intensity, and duration.
It has been hot recently. And humid. I have been trying to lose, or at least soften, the proverbial cyclist tan lines on my legs, arms, and neck. I have. I’m evenly brown now. Except my feet 😂 I’ll have to work on them next.
It’s a technique used by body builders, and yogis, to strengthen the abdominal wall, and reduce the waist size. Body builders are after that cut, lean, V-shape. Yogis want to improve the functioning of the internal organs.
I have tried vacuuming for many years. First, as part of a daily yoga program. Now, simply because I like the feeling of a tight abdomen. I am more acutely aware of the role the core plays with all movement. On the bike, I realize it is an integral part of the pedal stroke. The core drives the legs. The core is the golf swing. Crunches are not enough. You need to strengthen all of the muscle groups around the middle, and the vacuum gets at those that are otherwise missed.
It’s a habit now. Fasted rides. I don’t eat until I return.
I started doing this 18 months ago. I was told it would help with my weight loss efforts. It did. Within 8-10 months I got to a better weight, and lost my belly fat.
Belly fat. So easy to put on, so hard to get rid of. I only wish I had learned the benefits of intermittent fasting, and fasted HIIT workouts years ago.
I was also told that fasted workouts conditioned the body to burn fat as the glycogen stores were depleted. The more you do this, the longer you can ride without bonking. Now, I can ride for several hours and feel fine.
This works for me. I’m at an optimum weight for my height and build, and I have maintained it for over a year now.
I sat on the dock with a cup of coffee. The sun came up, and the clouds cleared. I was ready to ride.
The weather app was wrong. Completely wrong. No rain. No lightening. Just hot and humid. I did 40 km faster than I planned. It was nice to be back on the bike. I feel so much better when I ride.
Rest days are overrated 😂