I am back from a week long vacation on Mackinac Island. If you don't know what Mackinac Island it, go here. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma
Biggest thing you should take away from the above link is NO CARS. All transportation for the week is self-propelled (walking or bike). Horses are for taxis and cargo drays, so we never use them.
My husband and I honeymooned on MI and fell in love with the place--we often talk about moving there for part of our retirement. The air is clean and fresh and every day ends with a bike ride--the shortest about an hour and a half. Most tourists rent a bike and go around the flat road on the outside--we take our mountain bikes and ride UP.
This led me to a few ah-ha moments while riding:
1. Descents are fun! I really enjoy the fast moving descending part of biking, especially on the trails. I can often be heard yelling 'WHEE!' We all love the weigh loss descents too, right!
2. To descend, first you have to climb. Biking up the hill is not always fun, but it can be really rewarding. A few years ago there were a number of climbs I just could not do on Mackinac--they were too hard. Over time as I have lost weight, gained strength and skill and improved my biking. This trip all the climbs were achieved. I won't say they were easy, but the feeling at the end when I had DONE IT was great.
Again, with losing weight there is work to be put in to get to that WHEE feeling of loss. When I don't put the work in there is no WHEE, just a WHOA!
3. Rewards are important. Post ride I usually try to take a long hot bath. Toward the end of a ride the thought of that (or a nice cold beer) often got me through. What are my weight loss rewards?
4. Even with lots of exercise, you have to eat right. OK, this isn't a mountain bike related lesson, but my big vacation take away. I walked constantly, I biked 2hours/day and I ate with wild abandon. Lots of good food and lots of beer and wine. Had I not been exercising so much, I would have probably gained over 5 pounds for sure.
I gained about 1 instead. I can live with that as I am ready to take my lessons (and my lumps) and get back into real life.