Tag Archives: bike

Those first few weeks

Me, pretending that I don’t, in fact, want to drink an entire bottle of wine with my large frozen pizza after that goddamn run.

I’m a multi-sport athlete.

I run, bike, cross-country ski, and in my “down” time, I sail, hike, lift weights…

I go.

I do all this stuff because it gets me out into the wide world, where the act of propelling myself merges with the beauty around me and helps me find joy, God, the sheer exultation of being.

And though I’ve been active like this regularly for nearly a half-decade, I have a confession:

The first few weeks of a new season suck.

They suck big, hairy donkey balls.

A little afternoon torture session

I went for my first run in a while today.

Oh, fuck me.

Windy. Cold. Tired. Sore. Runny nose. Need to poop. Whiny. Cold-sweaty. Icy puddles.

And my body isn’t used to moving that way anymore.

We’ve been doing this thing on skis for the last several months, and now you’re asking for what???

My brain, on the other hand, is all like, “Dude. Yesterday you skied 15k. You tellin’ me you can’t jog a measly 5k today? Pffft.”

Shut up, brain.

Be gentle with yourself

It takes time for the body to adjust.

It takes time for the mind to adjust.

It takes time for the spirit to adjust.

When you’re starting a new endeavor, be it sport, business, relationship, job, adventure… give yourself time.

Savor the transition.

Drink a lot of water, and a little wine.

Stretch.

Eat well.

Enjoy your time as a beginner (again).

DON’T DIE!

It was just a tiny moment out of time; an instant, really. But for that instant, I was convinced I was in real trouble. That probably explains why the people at the top of Mount Telemark  heard me screaming “DON’T DIE! DON’T DIE!” as I sped down the hill in front of them.

I was three hours into my fourth off-road ride *ever* and things were pretty good. In fact, the only problem I was having was my left hand cramping from pulling the front brake lever so much.  There’s a simple solution to that, though: Don’t use the front brake.

I was letting the bike roll down the top of Mt. Telemark at a pretty good clip when I swept around a curve in the trail and saw my doom: the trail was washed out in three spots in close succession like “whoops” on a motorcross course. I hit the first pothole, bounced into the air, and started to contemplate my rapidly changing place in the universe.

By which I mean to say I screamed. And not a manly scream of macho excitement, either. This was a high-pitched, balls-in-my-throat, how-am-I-going-to-afford-these-medical-bills kind of scream.

And then God, or Dog, or physics or karma or whom/whatever finished laughing at me and nudged me to the side of the trail just far enough that I didn’t, in fact, die.

So that’s good.

My First Century Bike Ride

Note: This is a draft post that I had intended to finish and post before the ride on June 28. See how well that worked out? 🙂

Looking 100 miles in the face

At seven a.m. Saturday morning, I’m going to climb on my vintage 1974 steel Vista road bike and ride 100 miles.

Through thunderstorms.

On the hottest day of the year so far.

For fun.

Why would you ever…

Ever since I started riding my bike again last year, I’ve been drawn (some say “like a moth to a flame”) to long distance rides. I’ve made vague plans to ride around Lake Superior (“It’s just 1,300 miles, honey”), do the Paris-Brest-Paris ride (“How’d you like to go to France for a few days?”) and tour across the continent (“Wouldn’t that be an awesome experience for the boys?”).

I’ve put hundreds of miles (950-ish since last October, as of today) on my bike, and I’m hoping for a thousand-mile month later this summer. So far, though, my longest ride to date is 58.6 miles. A century ride seems like the logical next step in my quest for distance.