I bought a bicycle a few weeks ago in order to get more workout time. I’m not a lover of the gym, especially when the weather is as awesome as it’s been lately. Bicycling is giving me something to do outside and is a lot easier on the body than running. The bad part is that I’m totally becoming a bicycle junkie.
Now everyone thinks bicyclists are weird, let’s face it. We see them on the side of the road wearing goofy pants and those dumb jerseys with all those phony sponsors printed on them. And what’s up with the lame helmets?
Well, what I’m finding out is that everything goofy about bicycling is goofy for a reason. And 9 times out of 10 that reason is weight, the rest is for comfort. When you’re on a bike trudging up a 10% grade, every ounce you have to carry up with you sucks energy out of you. So everything you see in the biking world is pretty much slimmed down and made as light as possible. You’re also rarely on a bike during a serious ride for less than several hours, so a pair of Dickies with a belt-chain and some Vans are not going to cut it.
So it’s been interesting doing some rides and learning the ins and outs of bike gear. I’ve already gotten special shorts, shoes, gloves, helmet, and I’m about to buy a jersey. I just can’t get myself to wear those skin tight spandex shorts and the crazy Tour De France jersey though, so I got mountain bike shorts instead and I found a jersey that is black with some cool designs on it. I have to maintain at least a little of my finely tuned rebellious exterior, you know?
I’m totally hooked on cycling though that’s for sure and I’m continuing on my goal of riding a century by June, though it looks like it will turn out to be 100 km instead of a 100 miles, mainly because the only 100 mile ride nearby in June is a wicked ride up the mountains and I just don’t think my legs will be strong enough by then for that kind of climbing. But I’m planning on participating in a 71 miler with some friends from church and I can certainly live with that accomplishment.
Until then it’s all about training. I’m planning on doing about 15 miles at least 3 nights a week, alternating with weight training and then we have 25-40 mile rides planned every saturday starting this weekend.
If I don’t kill myself I figure I’ll be in dynamite shape when all is said and done.