Chas stopped for a rest (July 8, 2015)
I have a new cycling rhythm. One day hard, and fast. The next slow, and relaxed. One day with Lou. The next with Chas. Alternating between hard and easy, fast and slow. I am averaging 250-300 km a week on a variety of routes that invariably take me west to the big lake and then north and south along the lakeshore road. I can do this loop in either direction, and there are several mini-loops within the larger loop so I can vary the length of the ride from 35-75 km.
This pattern seems to agree with me. And the boys. I can cycle every day, and never feel like I need to take a day off. Alternating the intensity with no really long rides keeps me fresh.
Chas: “I love love it. I get out almost every day. And, Lou never bickers at me.”
Lou: “I’m too tired to complain. I like the rest day in between outings.”
There always seems to be a wind here. I headed out this morning battling a strong headwind on the way out, thinking to myself “Good, it will be at my back on the way in when I’m tired.”. But no. I was in the teeth of the wind on the way back as well. The 45 km ride felt like a 100 by the time I rolled into the driveway.
Lou: “The wind will make us faster. You’ll get stronger and learn to ride in a more aerodynamic position. Stop your complaining.”
I have cycled every day since arriving except for a couple of days when it rained, usually going out late afternoon, in the heat of the day, when the roads are quieter, and the shadows are long. I like the warm, humid weather on the bike. There is always a breeze in your face, and the longer shadows highlight the scenery.
I think Chas and Lou like the routine. They both get a turn, and are on the road more than when we are at home.
Chas and Lou: “You got that right :)”
The boys need a bath. They have picked up some road dirt and their chains need a good cleaning and lube. I’ll make time today. I don’t have a bike stand here so will have improvise with rope and a tree branch.
Chas: “It’s about time. I thought you had forgotten. I hate it when I look dirty.”
Lou: “You know it’s not good for us. Being dirty. We wear out quicker, don’t change gears as smoothly, and quite frankly, I don’t like the feel. I go faster when I’m clean.”
I’ve recently changed the way I ride by taking my garmin and cateye wireless off the bike and relegating them to the back of the cupboard. Now I just go out and ride. It might just be for half an hour, it might be for 2 or 3, but without those tyrannical digital numbers telling me how far I’ve gone and how fast I’m enjoying being on the bike so much more.
That’s interesting. A few years ago I used Strava, fascinated with all the things it could tell me. But then I realized, it turned every ride into a race. So, I stopped. I must admit I have a cycle computer but when I speak of speed on the bike it’s relative to me, not to fellow cyclists, and certainly not the pros. And, like you I will go out without a computer just for a ride. Thanks for the comment 🙂
My sentiment also. I’d got to a point where I’d come home, upload the data from the ride and then feel disappointed because I was so many fractions of a kph slower than the last time I did that route. Now I go out thinking I’ll do that route today because of the view I’ll get at a certain point, the fun of a particular descent, to just have a short blast, or so I can stop for a soft drink or a coffee at a particular pub or coffee-house. Of course I still occasionally daydream of bossing Le Tour every now and then 🙂
I know what you mean. It takes the fun out of cycling. I remember the days I simply got on the bike and rode all day. I didn’t have a cycling kit. I didn’t even have padded shorts. No jersey pockets. No computer. And, never enough water bottles. I would cycle to the cottage (135 km), and then turn around the next day and cycle back. It was simply a days outing.