Today's soundtrack: www.youtube.com/watch?v=
I have been remiss regarding blogging, but I'll endeavor to update today. The last several weeks have been busy. With the end of school year coming up, there have been multiple loose ends to tie up. That said, progress on the health/fitness element has been mixed.
Cycling mileage has been generally up, but most of that has been small utility rides. Weather has been odd (unseasonably cold in the evenings), so I've been choosing to strength train in lieu of night rides.
I was disappointed when the weather didn't cooperate with my 200K attempt. I tried contacting the folks running the ride and didn't hear back, which of course, prompted me to say, "Forget this, I'll do it myself with or without other riders." The day of, a big front spun in, and I watched the weather radar compulsively until around 9PM the night before, deciding to call it. Upon reflection, it was probably a good idea, even though I didn't feel great about it, because there were reports of hail further south and downed trees. A useful object lesson in regards to the perception of control and permitting uncontrollable variables to discourage oneself.
I've been working on the schedule w/ DW to create another launch window, per se, so it's going to happen. The attempt, as least. There have been interesting developments regarding the increased weight training load (weird appetite changes, a notable increase in the ability to generate explosive power for hill climbs, quick sprints/acceleration), so it's been helpful. I went to the community center on the day I was scheduled for the long ride, and just went as hard as I could. Did a circuit of weight machines, too, which I typically avoid.
DW noted that she was told by one of the trainers which specific machines provided training that free weights could not.
I did a bunch of those, including leg press, lat pulldown, back extensions, etc. DOMS hit, I recovered and feel stronger, I think I'll keep up with it on my hard lifting days at the center.
I've been able to get a lot of recreational and utility rides w/ Mr. Tiny & Big Boy. I found the practical application of shoulder press (which I initially thought had limited utility and application for me) when I portaged our bikes up and down some city steps that access the Three Rivers Heritage trail. Mental note, shoulder presses useful for cyclocross type bike shouldering.
We rode to see the bald eagle nest at the end of one trail, and Mr. Tiny surprised me yesterday when he was able to pilot his Trek Jet 16. Huh, shouldn't underestimate these small dudes, and will have to look for a 20 inch, 6 speed with hand v-brakes for Big Boy now, it seems.
What is riding, to me?
It's experiences like riding through a shower of cherry blossoms shaken loose by the wind.
This segment from Grave of the Fireflies gives one the sense of what it was like.
It's riding on the side of a hill at night, looking down hundreds of feet below at a long snaking line of headlights, gridlock, and stop and go traffic on the parkway. Riding through a new development at night that is yet uninhabited, so it's eerie and gives one the sense of the post-apocalyptic, with only the odd lighted window where perhaps a construction worker is staying late to do some finishing work.
It's teaching and sharing the experience of riding with small people.
Look back on when you started your journey. It's not only our health that has changed, but our very outlook and perception. We are not the same as when we began, and the work we've invested is worthwhile.