[biking] Back In The Saddle

So, I’ve been saying it all summer, and spring, and well, lets be honest, last fall and summer too. time to get back to serious riding, and get back in shape.

The last week?

I’ve done just that.

Yeah, I know, a week doesn’t put you back in shape. But, it does start to reset the habit, which is the killer for me. And, I’m finding “excuses” to go ride, rather than excuses not to.

For one, I’m riding after work, on the single-speed. That’s been really interesting. I don’t think I’d want to do sixty or seventy kilometers on this one (not without swapping the saddle for something else, at least) but for a 30km, hour-and-a-quarter circuit after work? Yeah, I’m really enjoying it. I’ve fallen into an after work routine with it too. Leave work, twelve kilometers north-east on a cycle path (Riverside, from billings to Sussex, for you Ottawa types), accross the top of the city, shoulder my bike over the locks at Parliament, keep going across the Ottawa parkway Path (west), south at Island Park, down through the experimental farm to the roundabout at Prince of wales, south to Hogsback, and down through Mooney’s Bay to home.

Like this, in fact:

That’s not quite right, but it won’t let me embed the riding directions, for some reason, so this ends up about three kilometers short. that run (the full cycling run, of about 30km) is taking me about seventy to eighty minutes, depending on conditions.

Secondly, I’ve settled into a new routine with @DogAndGarden: She goes to the gym a couple of times a week, and I’ve been driving her to and from. Rather than end up at Timmies with my tablet and a donut, we’ve started taking the subaru, rather than my coupe. Throw my Opus Stern in the back of the Subie, and while she’s at the gym, I knock out thirty-five kilometers up over the Aviation and Rockliffe parkways:

Interesting thing about that particular ride is, it’s about fifteen percent road, forty-five percent path, and forty percent gravel. It’s pretty hard-packed gravel, like a country driveway, but it’s still gravel. Which makes for some interesting riding at 30km/h+. And, on that bike, on this route, I can nail some pretty interesting speeds. There’s a section through the trees where I can just about touch 50km/h.

So, what that means is, in the last few weeks I’ve done:

July 4: 28km
July 9: 34km
July 10: 25km
July 12: 30km
July 15: 30km

This week, the continuing plan is:

July 17th: 23km
July 18th: 25km
July 20th: 35km

The reason for the two-day break is that the weather looks like it’s going to snap. And, as I keep being told, I do kinda need to get some rest periods in there too. Which, funnily, is really tough. I start to feel guilty when I’ve finally got the riding habit back, and I miss a day or two. But, I am looking at maintaining around 150km/week. And, that’s outside of my daily 9km round-trip commute, as well. So, all in all, I’m probably putting about two-hundred kilometers a week on the bikes. that’s not bad at all, as far as I’m concerned. The trick is keeping it up.

So, while yes, I’m going to take a break on Wednesday and Thursday, if the weather’s looking ok, I may do short rides after work, maybe just 20km, to keep the gears lubed, so to speak. And, if I feel good… maybe I’ll extend those a little bit while I’m doin’ ’em.

Because masochist.

Because I can rest when I’m dead.

And, honestly, because I’ve been sedentary far too long again.

The goal for the next few weeks is to push my distances up again. That’s more time, so it’s hard sometimes: there’s other things that need doing as well. But I’d like to be back in the forty to sixty kilometer range at least once a week, say, on a Saturday or Sunday morning. This summers short term goal is Ottawa->Stittsville->Ottawa, about 60km round trip. The secondary goal is to do that in about two hours twenty-five minutes. That should give me about 26km/h, even accounting for traffic lights, etc. And, I’d hope I’m doing that by mid-August, too.

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